Tribune News Service
Panipat, November 8
The spurious liquor which claimed 48 lives in Sonepat and Panipat districts was manufactured in a 50 sq feet two-storey building at Naina Tatarpur village.
Sources say the accused manufactured hooch using extra neutral alcohol (ENA), which is easily available in the state. A case of 12 bottles of ENA costs Rs 300-400.
As per preliminary probe, the accused had been running the illicit liquor trade from the same location for about six months. The building is owned by a government schoolteacher, identified as Vijay, who has been arrested. Documents seized from the unit revealed the source of raw material. The accused hobnobbed with tanker drivers involved in the transport of ENA and pilfered the chemical.
SP Jashandeep Singh Randhawa said they had got vital clues about the identity of those who supplied the raw material, including ENA. “We have seized some bills and other documents from the busted unit. The accused had bought a bottling plant from Shamli district in Uttar Pradesh. Empty bottles were procured from Delhi,” he said. Meanwhile, the police today arrested Amit Rathi, another partner in the illicit distillery. His accomplices Ajit of Sitawali and Vicky of Saidpur village were arrested yesterday.
“Two more accused — Naresh alias Nesha and Mandeep alias Setha — are still on the run. Raids are on to nab them. We have arrested over 24 people in the case,” Randhawa said.
SIT formed for statewide probe
- Home Minister Anil Vij on Sunday constituted an SIT to look into the incidents of deaths due to consumption of spurious liquor across the state
- The probe team will submit its report in 15 days
- The SIT will be headed by ADGP (Narcotics) Shrikant Jadhav, with IG Ambala Range Y Puran Kumar, Kurukshetra SP Rajesh Duggal, Karnal SP Ganga Ram Punia and Mewat SP Narender Bijania as its members.