21 dead in Punjab after allegedly consuming spurious liquor, CM orders inquiry

Chandigarh: Twenty-one people have died over the past 48 hours in three districts of Punjab, allegedly after consumption of spurious liquor.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial inquiry by Divisional Commissioner, Jalandhar, into the suspicious deaths of the 21 people in Amritsar, Batala and Tarn Taran districts. One person is reported to be critical in the suspected hooch tragedy.
The inquiry will look into the facts and circumstances leading to the incidents, as well as into any other issue connected or relevant to the incidents and the circumstances leading to them. It will be conducted by Divisional Commissioner of Jalandhar, along with Joint Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab, and Superintendent of Police of the concerned districts, said an official statement on Friday.
The Chief Minister has given Commissioner Jalandhar Division the liberty to co-opt any civil-police officer or any expert to facilitate the expeditious conduct of the inquiry, in the case in which a woman has so far been arrested. Captain Amarinder Singh also directed the police to launch a search operation to crack down on any spurious liquor manufacturing units that may be operating in the State, said the statement.
Police have arrested Balwinder Kaur, a resident of Muchhal village, after a case was registered in Amritsar under Section 304 (culpable homicide) of Indian Penal Code. Further investigations are in progress under the Special Investigation Team (SIT). The post mortem of four persons — Jaswinder Singh, Kashmir Singh, Kirpal Singh and Jaswant Singh — will be conducted on Friday to ascertain the exact cause of the deaths, it added.
Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said the first five deaths were reported from Mucchal and Tangra in Amritsar (rural) on the night of June 29. “On the evening of July 30, two more persons died in suspicious circumstances in Muchhal, while one person was hospitalised in critical condition and later succumbed at Sri Guru Ramdas Hospital, from where he was referred by Dr. Sarabjit Kaur Hospital, Tangra. Later, two more deaths were from reported from village Mucchal, while another two people reportedly died in Batala city, also due to spurious liquor consumption,” he said.
“Today, five more persons died in Batala, taking the toll in the city to seven, while one person has been referred to civil hospital, Batala in critical condition. Four more similarly suspicious deaths have also been reported from Tarn Taran,” he added.
The deceased 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, besides Baldev Singh, resident of Tangra village. Other deceased are Buta Ram, Bhinda, Riku Singh, Kala, Kalu, Billa and Jatinder, all residents of city Batala. Those who died in Tarn Taran have been identified as Sahib Singh, Harban Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Dharam Singh. (The Hindu)