Chandigarh [India], Aug 5 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed the Director-General of Police (DGP) to book those directly involved in hooch tragedy under Section 302 of IPC.
Promising justice for the victims of the case, which he termed as the biggest tragedy of recent times, the Chief Minister also mooted enhancement of punishment for spurious/illicit liquor manufacturing and smuggling under the Excise Act, to ensure that repeat offenders remain behind the bars and are not able to come out easily to indulge again in the crime.
"Finish off this business, clean up the border areas," was Captain Amarinder's strict directive to police and district officials during the review VC earlier, which was attended by DGP Dinkar Gupta and Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, along with SSPs and DCs of the affected districts of Tarn Taran, Amritsar Rural and Gurdaspur, along with officials of the Excise & Taxation Department.
"This has to stop," he said, adding that the illicit liquor business had been going on in border areas for a long time, with use of Lahan, but now it had assumed even more dangerous proportions with the new trend of smuggling from neighbouring states.
Singh directives on the hooch tragedy came during two separate video conferences - one of the cabinet meeting and the other a review meeting of the case with top police and administrative officials.
As several ministers agreed, during a Cabinet meet, to the suggestion of Advocate General Atul Nanda that a strict law like PCOCA was needed to combat organised crime like illicit liquor smuggling, Singh asked the Sub-Committee, that was set up under Brahm Mohindra to examine the provisions of the proposed law, to finalise and submit its report at the earliest.
He also led his council of ministers in observing a two-minute silence as a mark of homage to the victims of the tragedy.
Asserting that he wanted "to see an end to this whole business of spurious and illicit/smuggled liquor," the Chief Minister directed the concerned officials to be extremely strict in dealing with the criminals, whether men or women.
Pointing out that the victims were the poorest of the poor, Singh set a 10-day deadline for the concerned District Commissioners and police officers to identify and process cases to provide targeted additional relief for their families. (ANI)