Members of SIT enquiring about the condition of one of the under-treatment victim at the Civil Hospital.
Members of SIT enquiring about the condition of one of the under-treatment victim at the Civil Hospital.

Ujjain: The special investigation team (SIT) members on Saturday continued to investigate facts in pertaining to the tragic hooch deaths in the city.

They met more than a dozen persons under closed doors of the Circuit House for about two hours to ascertain the reasons behind occurrence of the hooch incident, role of police, municipal corporation and excise department employees and responsibility of such employees. They also met some of the victims of the incident who are being treated at the Civil Hospital. SIT head clarified that the death caused were due to poisonous liquor and nobody will be spared for the same.


SIT head and ACH, Home Rajesh Rajora, ADGP SK Jha and DIG Sushant Saxena jointly agreed that hooch was toxic that killed the labourers. The liquor was made by denatured spirit and we are trying to find out who made available the spirit, SIT members told. SIT member were not convinced with the explanation given by drug inspector. SIT also cast doubt of wholesale dealers for providing denatured spirit for making hooch to miscreants, although the administration sealed the wholesale shop Doctor Surgical late on Friday. Dr Rajora said that they would submit their finding report to the State government on October 19.


As per sources, the SIT has accepted administrative loopholes and negligence as the main reason for the tragic deaths of labourers after taking illicit hooch. The SIT will put up its report on Monday to CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan after that more big action can be taken in the hooch death case.


More than 12 people met SIT members including Congress party delegation consisting of MLA Mahesh Parmar and Ramlal Malviya and held responsible collector Asheesh Singh and, SP Manoj Kumar Singh and Municipal Commissioner Kshitij Singhal. SIT members listened to all public representatives and assured them for appropriate action in the matter. MLA Mahesh Parmar and Ramlal Malviya told the media persons that we succeeded to convince the SIT members about administrative weakness and if no appropriate action was taken against the responsible, Congress will hit the road. The party demanded that the government should curb the interference of collector, SP and Municipal Commissioner in investigation.


Nisha Kahar the sister of arrested Bhupesh Kahar told the SIT that his brother Bhupesh and his wife are innocent, the actual man behind the incident is Shankar Kahar and his wife Kavita the duo are big liquor Mafioso and made huge money. Kavita has 5 houses in her name and also has 50 bigha farm land. She candidly alleged that Shankar Kahar regularly distributed share of his business to police.


Entire excise department can’t refrain from its responsibilities in the hooch death case as in the heart of the city hooch was being made distributed and the department did not smell hooch’s threat to life of hundreds of city dwellers. Considering the department negligence collector suspended two officials and wrote a letter to the government to take action against assistant excise commissioner (AC, excise). Finally, principal secretary, excise Dipali Rastrogi on Saturday evening issued a letter to shunt AC, excise KC Agnihotri with immediate effect to the office of commissioner, excise at Gwalior. AC, excise Dewas Vikramdeep Sagar will replace him. Feeling the heat of wrath of the administration the department sent its team to search more illicit liquor paddlers.


Assistant municipal commissioner Subodh Jain was suspended with immediate effect by divisional commissioner Anand Kumar Sharma. Jain had to face the crackdown as Municipal commissioner Kshitij Singhal reported divisional commissioner Sharma that contractual employees and main accused Sikandar and Gabbar were working under Jain but the tragic hooch death incident proved that Jain did not monitories the employees properly which is a serious negligence under Civil Service Conduct Rules 1965. As per sources, Jain was the in-charge of the abandoned building of the Municipal Corporation near Gopal Mandir which was in fact was being used to operate the racket of manufacturing and selling the ginger.


SP Manoj Kumar Singh informed that during the investigation the collusion of Mahakal police constable Indravikram Singh alias Bunty and Sudhesh Khode has been confirmed by the investigating official hence the duo were suspended immediately. Likewise, suspended Kharakuan police constables Anwar and Navaz have also been booked under Section 304, etc, of IPC. The investigation confirmed their partnership in hooch business of constables.


The kingpin of hooch game Sikandar was arrested on Friday night. His elder brother Gabbar was arrested from Helawadi while Sikandar was arrested from Bhopal. Mahakal police interrogated Gabbar while Sikandar was interrogated by Kharakuan police. The duo were the contractual employees at Ujjain Municipal Corporation and were terminated on Friday.


Administration started taking multiple actions against illicit hooch makers and marketers. The police started drive against miscreants while after the instruction of the administration municipal corporation’s gang demolished Sikandar’s building and thereafter accused Gabbar’s house at Jansapura was demolished in presence of heavy police force.


As per the reports hooch (ginger) demand rose during lockdown as on that occasion only medical stores were open while wine shops were closed and spirit based hooch business picked pace, as many boos lover also consumed hooch during lockdown. As per police, Shankar Kahar and his accomplice Langda started making hooch in abandoned building of Municipal Corporation in collusion with Yunus, Sikandar and Gabbar and spread their business in Chhatri Chowk and other parts of the city.

Congress demands probe by HC judge

Congress spokesperson Vivek Soni told that in the BJP rule illicit toxic liquor is being sold under police protection. Death of 12 persons is a governmental number; in actual 20 to 25 persons have been killed by consuming the toxic hooch and the administration cremated them in the names of unidentified. Senior Congress leader Dr Batuk Shankar Joshi, District Congress Committee (DCC, urban) head Mahesh Soni and DCC (rural) head Kamal Patel, Pradesh Congress Committee secretary Chetan Yadav and Hafiz Qureshi in a joint statement told that SIT report cannot be trustworthy, as hooch death has involvement some local BJP leaders, the SIT will follow the instructions of BJP led state government. Suspension of some higher officials and cops is only to confuse the public. The government and the SIT are trying to save the main accused, Congress leaders added. Congress party leaders demanded the probe under monitoring of a high court judge. The party also demanded a financial help of Rs 10 lakh to deceased’s family members. Party members warned the government and the administration to start phase wise agitation to seek justice for deceased.

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