Punjab Hooch Tragedy: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) core committee has resolved to meet Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore on Thursday and demand the dismissal of Captain Amarinder Singh led Congress government besides deciding to start an agitation to expose the Congressmen led illicit liquor nexus.
The core committee will also take the agitation to Delhi and hold protests outside the residence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former President Rahul Gandhi in the second phase. The core committee meeting presided over by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal was attended by the entire senior leadership.
Sukhbir Singh Badal said that chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and the Congress government was responsible for the murder of around 150 persons in the hooch tragedy spread over three districts in the State. He said that since the chief minister had refused to own moral responsibility for the tragedy and resign, the party would approach the State Governor tomorrow and demand the immediate dismissal of the government.
The entire party will subsequently press for dismissal of the Congress government by holding a ‘dharna’ outside the Governor’s residence for four days from August 7 to August 10. The core committee also decided that in the second phase, the party would hold a dharna outside the residence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former President Rahul Gandhi and demand that the Congress high command come clean about its involvement in the illicit liquor business in Punjab.
It has also decided that the SAD would also hold protests at the site of the illegal liquor distilleries cum bottling plants in Patiala and Khanna on August 13 and 14 respectively besides the distilleries of Congress associates including the family of the chief minister’s Religious Advisor Paramjit Sarna and Congress legislator Rana Gurjit Singh.
The core committee also reiterated the party’s demand for an inquiry by a sitting judge of the high court into the hooch tragedy as well as the illicit liquor trade being run by Congressmen in Punjab. Its simultaneous probes should also be initiated by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to uncover the entire nexus as well as find out about the proceeds of this illegal trade as well as identification of those who had received this ill-gotten wealth.
It said that the party stood for registration of a murder case against all Congressmen who had been named by the victim families and immediate sealing of the distilleries of the Sarna and Rana families who were being accused of smuggling spirit from their factories which had found its way into the hands of bootleggers through Congress conduits.
The core committee condemned the chief minister for not releasing the case file with regard to the Rajpura illegal factory case to the ED despite repeated requests by the agency. It said this case file as well as property details of all Congress leaders and legislators who were named by victim families should be sent to the ED for investigation.
The Committee condoled the death of Jathedar Hari Singh Zira, Giani Raghbir Singh Jakhepal, Kehar Singh Shivalik, Shri Om Parkash Kainth, and Jathedar Todar Singh Rajpura.