02 Aug 2020: 86 dead from spurious liquor in Punjab; 25 arrested
The death toll in the Punjab spurious liquor tragedy has risen to 86 with the maximum number of deaths reported from the Tarn Taran district.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh suspended seven excise officials and six policemen in connection with the tragedy and announced a financial compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the kin of those deceased.
Here are more details.
Fact: 63 died in Tarn Taran alone
Due to the consumption of spurious liquor, 63 people died in the Tarn Taran district, followed by 12 in Amritsar and 11 in Gurdaspur's Batala. Till Friday night, 39 deaths had been reported and 47 more were reported on Saturday.
Raid: Police conducted over 100 raids; seized large quantities of 'lahan'
The authorities had led over 100 raids in the three affected districts and other places in and around Rajpura and Shambhu border.
DGP Dinkar Gupta said that raiding parties seized large quantities of 'lahan' from villages and dhabas around Shambhu border, Rajpura and Patiala. The dhabas have now been sealed.
The DGP said that the raids had exposed a massive illicit liquor racket.
Arrest: 25 people arrested including mafia mastermind
The Punjab Police has arrested a total of 25 persons. Two people were arrested and another culprit was identified from village Baghaura from where around 750 liters of 'lahan' was seized.
Among the others arrested is a mafia mastermind, a woman kingpin, a transport owner, a wanted criminal and owners and managers of various dhabas where the hooch was being supplied, the DGP said.
Suspended officials: 7 excise officials, 6 cops suspended
CM Singh has ordered the suspension of seven excise officials and six policemen in connection with the incident, an official statement said.
Singh assured strict action against the public servants and others who had been found complicit in the crime.
"Nobody will be allowed to get away with feeding poison to our people," he said, describing the police and excise department failure as shameful.
Other details: Some families of victims refuse to come forward
A senior police official said that the families of several victims were not coming forward. They said some families aren't even getting the post-mortem conducted.
Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ishfaq said some families refused to accept that their kin died from the liquor, claiming they died of heart attacks.
Tarn Taran DC Kulwant Singh said some families cremated the bodies without informing the police.