Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 5
Taking up the issue of spurious liquor deaths in three Majha districts, Punjab ministers at a Cabinet meeting today pressed for stern action against excise and police officials, saying that instead of going after small operators, the masterminds of the illicit liquor trade must be nabbed.
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Citing the example of a Ludhiana trader booked in the case, one of the ministers pointed out that the police had yet to catch those responsible for supplying denatured spirit. Another minister sought to know the action taken against the SSPs transferred out of the affected districts — Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur — and the action initiated against excise officials for failure to monitor distilleries in which some politicians had stakes. The Opposition has been accusing Congress MLAs of shielding those involved in the illicit liquor business and liquor smuggling.
Ministers Sukhjinder Randhawa and Bharat Bhushan Ashu demanded that PCOCA (Punjab Control of Organised Crime Act) be slapped on the accused as crime syndicates continued to be run from prison cells with several hardcore criminals suspected to have ties with “terrorists”.
Sixth such meeting since June 6
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