Accountability for 120 deaths

Spurious liquor, which claimed over 120 lives in three districts of Majha early this month, continues to wreak havoc on unsuspecting customers. Two residents of Pandori Gola village in Tarn Taran district died after having toxic booze on Tuesday. The law-enforcement authorities are zeroing in on the native gamers, whilst the massive fish operating the parallel liquor community with impunity throughout Punjab stay elusive. The ongoing inquiry into the illicit liquor commerce doesn’t appear to be scrutinising issues on the macro stage. Instead of putting on the root of an organised racket that attracts power from political patronage, the hydra-headed drawback is being decreased to a one-off deal involving a Ludhiana-based paint store proprietor, an industrial supplier in Delhi and a Moga businessman.

There are gaping holes within the story about how denatured spirit reached Tarn Taran from Delhi after altering arms in Ludhiana and Moga. It particularly must be defined how the businessman, apparently with none authorisation, managed to purchase the dangerous substance for purportedly making ready hand sanitisers after which in flip bought it to makers of illicit liquor. In latest months, The Tribune has red-flagged not solely the pilferage of denatured spirit from distilleries but in addition the rampant use of deadly methanol for manufacturing adulterated sanitisers. However, the state authorities have been gradual to place two and two collectively.

Any try and shift the main focus away from ascertaining the complicity of excise officers and distillery operators will solely defeat the aim of the probe and improve the probability of one other main tragedy. Punjab can take a leaf out of Haryana’s e-book whether it is actually eager to stem the rot. The indictment of an Excise and Taxation Commissioner and a police officer by a particular inquiry group probing the liquor rip-off within the neighbouring state demonstrates zero tolerance to dereliction of responsibility. The Punjab authorities has now determined to make use of GPS know-how to observe the transportation of additional impartial alcohol and ethanol by distilleries. Such a high-sounding transfer would possibly come a cropper so long as the nexus between officers, producers, suppliers and distributors continues to flourish. The buck has to cease right here.

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