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Punjab

SAD demands judicial probe into liquor mafia operations in CM’s home district

December 09, 2020 09:23 PM

Groa times service 

Chandigarh, December 9 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded a judicial probe into the liquor mafia operations in chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s home district of Patiala, even as it said the unearthing of an illegal distillery of the gang which had been busted six months back proved that the liquor mafia in Punjab continued to thrive due to support from the very top.

In a statement here, former minister Maheshinder Singh Grewal said it was shocking that an accused – Dipesh Kumar, who was the right hand man of Congress Rajpura legislator Hardyal Kamboj, had been nabbed yet again for the second time in six months for the same crime. “It is clear that Dipesh does not have any fear of the law. That is why he has opened another illegal distillery after the earlier one was busted. It seems he knows that like in the earlier case, he will be out in no time. It is a clear case of patronage from the top Congress leadership as well as the Gandhi family and only a probe by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court can expose this nexus”.

Mr Grewal said illegal distilleries as well as cross-border liquor smuggling was flourishing in Patiala because chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had not given clear cut directions to State excise and police officials to go after Congress legislators of his home district who were patronizing the mafia elements. He said the chief minister had in this process not only caused a loss of hundreds of crores to the State exchequer but had also become a party to supplying slow poison in the name of liquor to the people of the area. He said the liquor mafia in Patiala district as well as elsewhere could only be eradicated if action was taken against legislators Hardyal Kamboj and Madan Lal Jalalpur as well as others including the Congress legislator who patronized an illegal distillery in Khanna by confiscating their illegal wealth. “But there are bleak chances of this happening as the government has bent over backwards to accommodate the two legislators by refusing to hand over the case details to the Enforcement Directorate and even transferring police officials, including the then SSP, out of the district”, he added.

Mr Grewal also reminded the chief minister that the culprits behind the Rs 5, 600 crore excise revenue loss were yet to be identified and arrested. “Similarly no action has been taken against the family of Paramjit Singh Sarna, the Religious Advisor of the CM, which runs a distillery at Kiri Afghana in Gurdaspur district even though two truckloads of illegal liquor were found from its compound. He said even the hooch tragedy which occurred in Tarn Taran and Amritsar district which led to the loss of 130 lives did not move the Congress government. “All this is giving a message to the people that the very top of the government pyramid is compromised”, Mr Grewal said adding only an impartial probe could result in the eradication of the liquor mafia in Punjab”. EOM

Jangveer Singh

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