The recent seizure of a huge liquor consignment from a Gujarat-bound truck in Punjab is turning into a major controversy with the opposition accusing the Bhagwant Mann government of going “slow” on the probe to ascertain the source behind the transportation of alcohol illegally to the poll-bound state.
Earlier this month, the police had seized around 600 cartons of illicit liquor from a Gujarat-bound truck. Authorities had registered a case and named four accused who continue to evade the police net. The opposition has accused Punjab’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of “facilitating” transportation of liquor to poll-bound Gujarat to influence voters.
Even before that, Haryana police had also nabbed a supplier who was allegedly transporting liquor from border areas of Punjab to Gujarat. Senior Congress leader and Punjab’s leader of the opposition (LoP) Partap Singh Bajwa has criticised the Mann government for its failure to check liquor smuggling to other states, including Gujarat.
“Gujarat is going for the state assembly polls and amidst that Punjab-made liquor was being smuggled with impunity to Gujarat to influence the voters,” alleged Bajwa.
He even demanded a judicial probe to unearth the “big fish” behind the smuggling of liquor to Gujarat.
The opposition has alleged that the police were going deliberately slow in the investigations. So far, they haven’t been able to arrest any of those named in the FIR. The police probe has also failed to establish the identity of those who had ordered the consignment. This despite a special investigation team (SIT) formed for the probe.
Patiala police officials said that efforts were on to track down the accused and denied any laxity in the probe. Officials claimed that with prohibition enforced in Gujarat, some unscrupulous contractors wanted to make a quick buck by smuggling liquor to dry states.
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