With the death toll in the hooch tragedy in Punjab rising to 111, Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, on Tuesday said no one, whether a politician or a public servant, will be spared if found complicit in the hooch deaths.
The CM said nobody will be allowed to get away with killing people with the poison called spurious liquor. He had put the entire force of the Punjab Police to crack down on the mafia, said Amarinder.
Some unscrupulous elements took advantage of the police focus on battling the Covid pandemic to satiate their greed at the cost of the lives of Punjabis, said the CM.
While the state government was busy battling Covid, which has claimed 449 lives in the state so far, the liquor mafia seized the opportunity to play with the lives of our people, he added.
This is sheer murder and the killers will not get away with it, Amarinder said, referring to the death of 111 people (83 from Tarn Taran, 15 from Amritsar and 13 from Batala) due to the spurious liquor.
Castigating the opposition for exploiting the tragedy for their petty political interests, the CM said this is not the time to play politics but to stand by the government in its efforts to eliminate the mafia that is indulging in such acts.
The CM said such tragedies have been taking place through the years across states, under different political dispensations. Mafias and criminals do not have any political affiliation, their only interest is to earn money by hook or by crook, he said, noting that 2019 had seen three hooch tragedies, all in the BJP-ruled states of Assam, UP and Uttarakhand, claiming 168, 97 and 30 lives respectively.
In 2016, 16 people had died in Janata Dal ruled Bihar while in 2015, BJP-led Maharashtra had lost 102 lives to hooch in Mumbai and under the Trinamool Congress rule in West Bengal, as many as 167 people had similarly died due to consumption of spurious liquor.
Almost every year, India sees some or the other hooch tragedy, which has nothing to do with who is in power in the affected state, said Amarinder, urging the opposition parties to stop playing politics over the lives of innocent Punjabis.