Punjab spurious liquor deaths: 38 dead, eight arrested; police to conduct raids in Amritsar, Batala, Tarn Taran

The Punjab DGP said that a resident of a village in Amritsar district had been arrested for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and under provisions of Excise Act

FP Staff July 31, 2020 23:34:55 IST
Punjab spurious liquor deaths: 38 dead, eight arrested; police to conduct raids in Amritsar, Batala, Tarn Taran

The toll due to consumption of spurious liquor in the districts of Amritsar, Batala, and Tarn Taran in Punjab rose to 38 on Friday. The Punjab Police has formed five teams to conduct raids in the districts, reports said.

A total of eight persons have been arrested in the case.

Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said that the police had arrested Balwinder Kaur, a resident of Muchhal village, under Section 304 of the IPC (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and under provisions of the Excise Act. Seven more people have subsequently been arrested, ANI reported.

The deaths took place in Punjab's Amritsar, Batala and Tarn Taran districts over a duration of two days after the first casualty was reported on Wednesday night.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.

Earlier on Friday, a News18 report said that 13 people died in Tarn Taran, 11 died in Amritsar and eight passed away in Batala. Initially, 21 deaths were reported.

PTI quoted the DGP as saying that the first five fatalities were reported from Mucchal and Tangra villages in Amritsar's Tarsikka on the night of 29 July.

On Thursday evening, two more people died under suspicious circumstances at Amritsar's Muchhal village. One person died at Sri Guru Ram Das Hospital in Amritsar after being shifted from Tangra. Later, two more deaths were reported from Mucchal village while another two people died in Batala, also due to the consumption of spurious liquor. On Friday, five people died in Batala, taking the death toll in the city to seven, the DGP said, adding that four fatalities were reported from
Tarn Taran.

The chief minister has ordered the Jalandhar divisional commissioner to conduct the magisterial inquiry into the deaths. The inquiry will look into the facts and circumstances leading to the incidents, a statement by the state government said.

It will be conducted by the divisional commissioner along with the Punjab Joint Excise and Taxation Commissioner and the SP (Investigation) in districts concerned.

The chief minister has given the divisional commissioner the liberty to co-opt any civil/police officer or any expert to facilitate the expeditious conduct of the probe.

Meanwhile, police have arrested Balwinder Kaur, a resident of Muchhal village, under Section 304 of the IPC (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and under provisions of the Excise Act, the DGP said.

Singh has promised strict action against anyone found complicit in the case and directed police to launch a search operation to crack down on any spurious liquor manufacturing unit operating in the state.

The post-mortem of four people — Jaswinder Singh, Kashmir Singh, Kirpal Singh and Jaswant Singh — will be conducted on Friday to ascertain the exact cause of their death, the statement said.

According to it, the victims have been identified as Mangal Singh, Balwinder Singh, Dalbir Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Kashmir Singh, Kaka Singh, Kirpal Singh, Jaswant Singh and Joga Singh, all residents of Muchhal village; and Baldev Singh of Tangra;

Those who died in Batala have been identified as Buta Ram, Bhinda, Riku Singh, Kala, Kalu, Billa and Jatinder.

Those who died in Tarn Taran are Sahib Singh, Harban Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Dharam Singh.

With inputs from PTI

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