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MP hooch tragedy: 2 cops held; 3 bootleggers booked under NSA

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The Times Of India
18th October, 2020 16:35 IST

UJJAIN: Two police constables have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the sale of spurious liquor that killed a dozen people in Madhya Pradesh 's Ujjain district a few days ago, a police official said on Sunday.

A doctor and a medical store employee have also been arrested for allegedly making the spirit available to bootleggers and helping in their spurious liquor business, superintendent of police Manoj Singh said.

Besides, the stringent National Security Act (NSA) has been invoked against three bootleggers Yunus, Sikandar and Gabbar, who were arrested after the incident, he said.

The victims, mostly beggars or poor labourers, died after consuming spurious liquor here on Wednesday and Thursday following which chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered a high-level probe into the incident.

"We arrested constables Shaikh Anwar and Nawaz of Kharakuan police station on Saturday and registered a case of criminal conspiracy against them," the official said.

A doctor, named Junad, and one Irshad, working at the Golden Medical Store, have also been arrested for allegedly making the spirit available to bootleggers and helping in the spurious liquor sale, the SP said.

He also said that earlier 14 deaths were reported in the incident, but after the post-mortem report, the number of fatalities due to the consumption of spurious liquor was revised to 12.

Following the incident, assistant excise commissioner K C Agnihotri has been shunted out of Ujjain and deputy municipal commissioner Subodh Jain has been suspended, the official said.

Jain was allegedly close to bootleggers Sikandar and Gabbar, police sources said.

The SP also said the city-based houses of bootleggers Sikandar and Gabbar, who were contractual workers with the Ujjain Municipal Corporation, have been demolished as they were constructed illegally.

The three accused bootleggers made the spurious liquor with spirit and some tablets at an abandoned municipal building, he said.

An in-depth investigation into the incident is on and no one involved in it will be spared, he added.

Ujjain collector Ashish Singh on Thursday said there would be a crack-down against those who sell toxic liquor and they would be booked under the NSA.

Chouhan ordered a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by additional chief secretary Rajesh Rajora into the incident, the chief minister's office earlier said.

"If such a thing is being sold elsewhere, police should find it out and prosecute the offenders severely," Chouhan said on Thursday.

"People selling poisonous substances are enemies of society. They should be punished severely. Efforts should be made to send such people to the gallows," he said.

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