New Delhi: In another developemt to Hooch tragedy that has claimed 113 lives so far, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed the state police chief to charge those directly involved in the case for murder. The Chief Minister also warned that he will not tolerate any political interference in the case. Also Read - College Reopening News: Punjab Govt Allows Reopening of Institutions For PhD Students, PG Technical Courses From This Date | Check Details Here
To ensure repeat offenders remain behind the bars and are not able to come out easily to indulge again in the crime, Singh also mooted enhancement of punishment for spurious or illicit liquor manufacturing and smuggling under the Excise Act. During the cabinet meeting, several ministers agreed to Advocate General Atul Nanda’s suggestion that a strict law like Punjab Control of Organised Crime Act (PCOCA) was needed to combat organised crime like illicit liquor smuggling. Also Read - Farm Bills 2020: Farmers' Body Announces 'Rail Roko' Stir From Sept 24; Harsimrat's Resignation Accepted, Tomar Given Additional Charge
Amarinder Singh also led his council of ministers in observing a two-minute silence as a mark of homage to the victims of the tragedy. Also Read - Lok Sabha Passes Three Farmer Ordinances Amid Dramatic Protests by Congress, SAD | All You Need to Know
As many as 113 people died in the hooch tragedy with 84, the maximum fatalities, in Tarn Taran, followed by 15 in Amritsar and 14 in Batala. “Finish off this business, clean up the border areas. This has to stop,” said the chief minister in his directive to police and district officials during the review video conference earlier.
The illicit liquor business, using ‘lahan’ (raw material for making liquor), has been going on in border areas for a long time. But now it had assumed even more dangerous proportions with the new trend of smuggling from neighbouring states, then chief minister said.