Cong seeks probe into 'liquor scam', says Haryana govt trying save culprits

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Chandigarh, Aug 7 (PTI) The Congress on Friday sought a high court judge-monitored investigation into the alleged liquor scam in Haryana, saying the BJP-JJP government was trying to sweep things under the carpet.

The state government had formed a special enquiry team (SET) in May this year after the alleged theft of liquor from two Sonipat godowns.

The SET submitted its report on July 31 and its contents were made public by Home Minister Anil Vij on Thursday.

Addressing a joint press conference from separate venues digitally, senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala and state party chief Kumari Selja said the “Khattar government has been hatching a conspiracy to safeguard the real culprits involved in the liquor scam”.

“While we had been maintaining that the SET does not have the powers to investigate and only a special investigation team (SIT) had such powers, the government went ahead and constituted an SET two days after announcing an SIT,' he said.

“Now, under the operation cover-up to sweep things under the carpet, they have said the Vigilance Bureau will conduct further probe based on the SET's observations but we don't expect a fair inquiry and demand a high court judge-monitored investigation,” said Surjewala.

He said the ultimate objective of ordering one inquiry after the other “is to protect the well-connected people sitting in the government and to cover up the nexus between the liquor mafia, politicians occupying high positions and the top officials sitting in the government”.

On Thursday, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij had said he has recommended action against the state excise and taxation commissioner and a senior police official based on a report in connection with the theft of seized liquor from the Sonipat godowns.

Selja said ever since the BJP-JJP came to power, each day new scams have been coming to light.

“Now, they have said the Vigilance will probe the liquor scam. This is nothing more than a joke and they are trying to sweep things under the carpet,” she said.

“It is an operation cover-up which they are resorting to. The SET has accepted that they did not have powers to investigate, which means they could not see record, seize record, nor get a case registered, this was a toothless SET,” Selja said.

She also asked how it could not be within the knowledge of the government that the prime accused in the liquor scam case, Bhupinder Singh, who was facing many criminal cases already, was issued a gun licence and provided two gunmen as security. PTI SUN VSD RDK RDK