Shiv Kumar Sharma
Yamunanagar, November 29
Four partners, who are behind bars in connection with the hooch tragedy which claimed 18 lives in Yamunanagar district and two in Ambala district, had been doing liquor business together for the past 15 years.
In 2023, got 22 vends under employee’s name
In 2023-24, the four partners (who are behind bars) acquired 22 liquor vends, including the one at Phunsgarh village from where the spurious liquor was allegedly supplied, in the name of Mohinder Singh, who worked for one of the business partners
Sources said the partners would take liquor vends directly in their names — in 2015-16 (in the name of one partner), in 2019-20 (in the name of second partner), in 2020-21 (in the name of third partner) and in 2020-21 and 2021-22 (in the name of fourth partner).
However, during police remand of the accused, it came to light that in 2023-24, the four partners took 22 retail liquor vends of 11 zones in Yamunanagar district in the name of Mohinder Singh of Barheri village, who reportedly worked for one of the business partners.
All the vends were funded by the four partners in an equal share of 25 per cent.
The sources further added that people, who were doing liquor business, took vends in the name of other persons mainly in two circumstances. “One, if a contractor fails to deposit instalments of licence fee. Second, when a person participates in the tender process, but fails to get liquor vends. The unsuccessful bidder then joins hands with successful bidders,” they said.
These 22 retail vends, including the liquor vend at Phunsgarh village from where the hooch that claimed lives, was allegedly supplied, had been cancelled after the hooch tragedy came to light on November 8. These vends were in the name of Mohinder Singh.
The Excise Department has now started the process for the re-allotment of the vends for the remaining period of the excise policy year 2023-24.
Hoshiar Singh, Assistant Excise and Taxation Officer, Yamunanagar, said five zones (each zone has two main liquor vends) were re-allotted through e-tender process on November 28. The remaining six zones would be re-allotted on December 1.
After the Covid outbreak, excise year starts on June 11 in Haryana. Earlier, it began on April 1. As per information, the police have so far arrested 20 persons, including the four business partners. All accused are in judicial custody.
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