Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 2
In a scathing counter to Arvind Kejriwal’s demand for a CBI probe into the hooch tragedy, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday asked his Delhi counterpart to mind his own business and not to exploit the tragic affair for reviving his defunct Aam Aadmi Party’s stake in the state.
Captain Amarinder ticked off the Delhi Chief Minister over the latter’s Twitter remark that the case should be handed over to CBI.
Saddened by the loss of lives in Punjab due to illicit liquor. State govt needs to immediately take necessary steps to curb such mafias. The case should be handed over to CBI immediately as none of the illicit liquor cases from the last few months have been solved by local police— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 2, 2020
“So many people have died and all you are interested in is making political meat from the incident. Don’t you have any shame?” asked Captain Amarinder Singh, telling Arvind Kejriwal to concentrate on maintaining the law and order in his own state, which was notorious for the brazen manner in which criminals and gangs were roaming the streets without fear, a press release by the state government read.
Trashing Kejriwal’s claim that “none of the illicit liquor cases from the past few months has been solved by local police,” the Punjab Chief Minister asked the AAP leader to verify his facts before shooting through his mouth.
Citing the recent April 22 case of an illicit liquor factory being busted in District Khanna, Captain Amarinder pointed out that eight accused had been arrested and a manhunt had been launched for seven others who were absconding. In another case, the two kingpins behind an illicit liquor distillery operating in Patiala district were arrested on May 22 and June 13 this year, and on July 10, the challan had been filed in the court. Another case was similarly unearthed in May with the arrest of a mafia leader, against whom the police were waiting for chemical analysis report to move forward, the press release further read.
Expressing full faith in Punjab police, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said Kejriwal’s demand for a CBI probe was nothing but a political gimmick aimed at regaining lost foothold for his party, which had completely lost ground in Punjab despite being the principal opposition party.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also pointed out that despite the cases of targeted killings in Punjab being handed over the CBI, it was eventually the Punjab police that had solved the same.
“Even in the sacrilege cases, the CBI failed to deliver and it is the Punjab police which is unravelling the case and had made several interests, including high-profile police officers. It was obvious that more than the CBI, it was in the interest of the local police to ensure that all criminal cases are solved expeditiously,” Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh added.
“Rather than delaying the investigation and allowing the trail to go cold, even in the present spurious liquor case, by handing over the probe to the CBI, I am more interested in ensuring swift action against all those whose greed had cost the state around 100 lives,” Captain Amarinder added.
The Chief Minister asked Kejriwal to check out his facts before making unsubstantiated and wild allegations against his government, whose track record in curbing crime of all kinds was exemplary.
“Why don’t you ask your Punjab unit for data and figures first and then comment on our working,” he told the Delhi Chief Minister.
Captain Amarinder also advised his Delhi counterpart to concentrate on his state’s COVID-19 situation.
“Rather than worrying about Punjab’s affairs, why don’t you take care of the health and lives of Delhiites”, the Chief Minister said wishing luck to Kejriwal in his fight against the pandemic.
Pointing out that strict action was being taken against all those found guilty in any case of illicit brewing and smuggling, Captain Amarinder said that in this hooch tragedy, too, 30 persons had already been arrested under five FIRs registered in three districts.
Moreover, 13 officials from the Police and Excise and Taxation Departments had been suspended for negligence while investigations were on to ascertain their complicity in the case, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh added.
A magisterial Commission of Inquiry had been set up with the mandate to submit its report within a month, he further pointed out, asking what was the need for the CBI to take over the case when the local police were handling it so effectively.
I have ordered a magisterial enquiry into suspected spurious liquor deaths in Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran. Commissioner, Jalandhar Division will conduct the enquiry and coordinate with concerned SSPs and other officers. Anyone found guilty will not be spared.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) July 31, 2020
The Chief Minister said not only had he given the police force a free hand to take any action needed to control crime and maintain the law and order in the state but had also made it clear to them that nobody found involved guilty in any case should be spared.
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