SAD-BJP legislators move Motion to discuss government failure

Chandigarh, August 27, 2020: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislative me-bers have moved a Motion for an emergent discussion on the Punjab government’s failure to take action against Congress legislators and distilleries whose complicity with the liquor mafia led to the death of 135 persons in the hooch tragedy in the Vidhan Sabha session.

Disclosing this here, SAD legislative wing leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said the motion was submitted to the Vidhan Sabha secretariat yesterday under rule 77 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. It calls for holding a special debate on the entire illicit liquor trade which also led to the loss of Rs 5,600 crore in excise revenue.

The Motion said Punjab had witnessed an unprecedented hooch tragedy leading to 130 deaths over a period of two days in Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran districts and another five deaths some days later in Tarn Taran and Bholath.

It said while the illegal distilleries cum bottling plants were earlier revealed to be running in Rajpura and Khanna, the deaths occurred in the Majha region and have now even reached Doaba with three per-sons succumbing after consuming poisonous liquor in Bholath.

The SAD- BJP legislators said Punjabis were pained that the State government had not taken any action against either the Congress legislators running the liquor mafia, the distilleries who supplied spirit to the mafia, as well as those running bottling plants which were used to market this poisonous brew.

They said since Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has also been found wanting in taking appropriate action against the perpetrators of this ghastly crime against humanity, it was only fitting that a larger discussion should be held to recommend an independent inquiry to nail the culprits.

They also demanded that all case files of the Rajpura and Khanna distillery seizures be handed over to the Enforcement Directorate. The Motion said the names of several Congress legislators had come up both in relation to the Rajpura and Khana illegal distillery cases as well as the hooch tragedy.

It said various reports allegedly suggested that two Congress legislators – Madan Lal Jalalpur and Hardyal Kamboj were behind the illegal distillery unearthed in Rajpura while another Congress legislator Gurkirat Kotli patronized the illegal distillery seized in Khanna.

It said similarly hooch tragedy victim families had allegedly also accused Khadoor Sahib Legislator Ramanjit Singh Sikki of distributing spurious liquor. It said a compre-hensive probe should be ordered into all these revelations.

The Motion also said that there were widespread accusations that two distilleries – owned by the family of the chief minister’s Religious Advisor Paramjit Singh Sarna and Congress mla Rana Gurjit Singh, had supplied spirit to the liquor mafia which led to the hooch tragedy.

It said no inquiry has been conducted against these distilleries. It said this inquiry should be conduct-ed immediately and if found guilty abetment to murder charges should be leveled against them also.

The Motion said appropriate action should also be taken against the civil and police machinery responsible for the hooch tragedy.

It said in case of Tarn Taran there were clear cut assertions from citi-zens that they had informed then SSP Dhruv Dahiya about the modus operandi of the liquor mafia and even given him license numbers of vehicles used by the mafia.

It said Dahiya and all other such officers found wanting should be awarded exemplary punishment.

The Motion also pointed out that Punjabis did not have any faith in the magisterial inquiry ordered into the hooch tragedy because earlier magistrate inquiries ordered into the Dussehra train tragedy and the Batala bomb blasts failed to take action against the real culprits.

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