It was a tragedy ready to occur. The Tribune had uncovered the complicity of distilleries within the distribution of spurious and illicit liquor in Punjab and neighbouring states in latest months; and it did spur the governments into some little bit of motion — all confirmed to be wholly insufficient by the deaths in Majha districts. Nurtured and patronised, the neatly greased community of illegality has bared its fangs. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has mentioned the inquiry will look into the info and circumstances resulting in the incidents, in addition to into another related points. The bootleggers will probably be caught, and that will be the top of it. That is just not sufficient. If the newest tragedy had been attributable to de-natured spirit from distilleries getting provided to bootleggers, then organised racketeers and their political patrons should be nabbed.
A whole overview is required of the liquor commerce — manufacturing, distribution and sale. For the Excise Department, it’s a second of reality. Why not have a ‘white paper’ on how Punjab’s most dependable income earner is managed? Why not an earnest effort to right-price, and never incentivise smuggling or the parallel liquor community? Why is a crackdown so tough regardless of common suggestions on tampered liquor manufacturers? What does it say a couple of state when a shopper leaves it to windfall that the product being consumed is protected? The strategy has been shameful and embarrassing.
The lockdown triggered a growth in demand and provide. The high quality was allowed to be compromised. In June, beneath Operation Red Rose, Punjab Police seized 8.32 lakh litres of lahan (uncooked materials combined for distillation of illicit liquor). A whopping 3,490 circumstances had been registered and a couple of,664 individuals arrested. In brief, the state equipment did transfer, however conveniently missed the bigger image. That sham efforts can go solely to this point, the actual bumps are of personal making — be it political appropriation, official obsequiousness, or police acquiescence. The authorities is aware of the place to strike. It’s about time.