Amarinder Singh orders probe into death of 21 people from spurious liquor consumption

Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered a magisterial inquiry led by the Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner into the death of at least 21 persons due to alleged consumption of spurious liquor in Amritsar, Batala and Tarn Taran districts.

The inquiry panel will look into the facts and circumstances leading to the tragedy as well as into any other connected issue(s) or relevant to the incident(s) and the circumstances leading to it, an official statement said.

The Divisional Commissioner of Jalandhar will inquire into the tragedy along with the Joint Excise and Taxation Commissioner and SPs (Investigation) of the districts concerned, an official spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, five more deaths were reported on Friday in Batala, while another person was admitted in hospital in a critical condition. Four more deaths have also been reported from Tarn Taran.

The Chief Minister has given Commission the liberty to co-opt any civil or police officer or any expert to facilitate the expeditious conduct of the inquiry and has promised strict action against anyone found guilty in the case.

Taking serious note, the chief minister also directed the police to launch a search operation to crack down on spurious liquor manufacturing units operating in the state.

Police meanwhile, has arrested Balwinder Kaur in Tarsikka village in Amritsar district with regard to the hooch tragedy.

Further investigations are in progress under the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by SSP Amritsar-Rural, from where the first cases were reported.