The Opposition in Punjab on Sunday attacked the state government over the hooch tragedy that has killed 104 people with the SAD asking Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to step down and demanding action against “Congress leaders patronising spurious liquor trade”.
The SAD also rejected the magisterial inquiry ordered by the state government and sought a probe either by the CBI or a sitting judge of the high court.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded an investigation by the CBI with its state chief Bhagwant Mann indicating that political leaders might be involved in it.
AAP also held a statewide agitation against the government over the tragedy, unfolding since Wednesday evening in Tarn Taran, Amritsar and Gurdaspur’s Batala.
Both parties demanded that a murder case be registered against those behind it.
“There should be a probe by the CBI or a sitting judge of the high court into this incident,” SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said, describing the investigation ordered by the state government as “farce and mere eyewash”.
He also accused the state government of suppressing the actual number of casualties.
“Murder charges should be slapped against all those responsible for the man-made tragedy,” said Majithia while addressing the media.
Holding the CM “directly responsible” for this tragedy, the SAD asked Amarinder Singh to own the moral responsibility for it and step down as he held the charge of the excise and home departments.
Majithia also demanded immediate action against the “Congress legislators patronising spurious liquor trade”.
“Congress legislators, police officials and liquor mafia are responsible for the hooch tragedy. Action should be taken against all them, instead of targeting lower rank officials,” said Majithia.
He also demanded that former Tarn Taran Senior Superintendent of Police Dhruv Dahiya be booked for murder.
He claimed that many people in the area had approached the then SSP and complained about bootleggers and their alleged Congress “kingpins”.
“Despite this, the then SSP turned a blind eye to the entire racket,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann demanded a CBI probe into the deaths.
“Nothing will happen with the transfer of some officers. The problem is deep rooted and there is a big nexus. People are openly taking names of leaders. There should be a probe by the CBI,” said Mann, who met families of the victims in Tarn Taran.
He said a murder case be registered in connection with the episode.