Punjab: Toll in Sangrur hooch tragedy rises to 20, SIT formed - Hindustan Times
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Punjab: Toll in Sangrur hooch tragedy rises to 20, SIT formed

Mar 23, 2024 11:59 AM IST

11 victims are undergoing treatment at Patiala’s Government Rajindra Hospital and six at the civil hospital in Sangrur

The death toll due to the suspected consumption of spurious liquor in Punjab’s Sangrur district climbed to 20 with six more people succumbing, officials said on Saturday. A four-member special investigation team (SIT), led by additional director general of police (ADGP) Gurinder Singh Dhillon, has been set up to probe the case.

The death toll due to the suspected consumption of spurious liquor in Punjab’s Sangrur district climbed to 20 with six more people succumbing on Saturday. (Representational photo)
The death toll due to the suspected consumption of spurious liquor in Punjab’s Sangrur district climbed to 20 with six more people succumbing on Saturday. (Representational photo)

Eleven people are undergoing treatment at Patiala’s Government Rajindra Hospital and six at the civil hospital in Sangrur.

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Sangrur civil surgeon Kirpal Singh said on Saturday that 20 people have died in the incident so far.

The casualties have been reported from Gujran, Tibbi Ravidaspura and Dhandoli Khurd villages in Dirba and Sunam blocks.

The police have made six arrests in the case so far.

The AAP government in the state has been under fire from the opposition Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) over the tragedy.

A case has been registered under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Excise Act.

The high-level committee has been set up to supervise uncovering of the backward and forward linkages in a professional and scientific manner to unearth the nexus behind the whole matter.

Patiala range deputy inspector general Harcharan Bhullar, Sangrur senior superintendent of police Sartaj Chahal and additional commissioner (excise) Naresh Dubey will be part of the SIT. “The SIT will go to the bottom of the conspiracy. No person found involved will be spared,” police said.

The Sangrur district administration has already formed a five-member committee, led by the Dirba sub-divisional magistrate, to investigate the matter.

The police had earlier recovered 200 litres of ethanol, 156 bottles of alcohol, 130 bottles containing suspected spurious liquor with labelling, 80 bottles containing spurious liquor without labelling, 4,500 empty bottles and a bottling machine.

The police said with the arrests made until Thursday it had busted a gang that had just started selling spurious liquor in the area with an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The gang could have affected the conduct of the elections by luring voters, the police said in a statement.

A survey was conducted in the affected villages to find out if anyone else reported symptoms of deterioration in health.

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