The recent seizure of a huge consignment of liquor from a truck destined for Gujarat in Punjab sparks major controversy with the opposition accusing Bhagwant Mann’s government of being “slow” in its investigation into the source behind the illegal transport from alcohol to the poll-bound state.
Earlier this month, police seized about 600 boxes of illegal liquor from a truck bound for Gujarat. The authorities had registered a case and named four suspects who continue to evade the police net. The opposition has accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab of “facilitating” the transportation of liquor to Gujarat to influence voters.
Even before that, Haryana police had also detained a supplier who allegedly transported liquor from border areas of Punjab to Gujarat. Senior Congress Leader and Leader of the Opposition (LoP) of Punjab, Partap Singh Bajwa, has criticized Mann’s government for failing to check the smuggling of liquor into other states, including Gujarat.
“Gujarat goes to state assembly polls and amid that Punjab-made liquor was smuggled into Gujarat with impunity to influence voters,” Bajwa claimed.
He even demanded a judicial inquiry to track down the “big fish” behind the liquor smuggling into Gujarat.
The opposition claimed that the police were deliberately slow to investigate. So far they have not been able to arrest any of those named in the FIR. The police investigation also failed to establish the identities of those who ordered the shipment. This despite the fact that a special investigation team (SIT) has been formed for the investigation.
Patiala police officials said efforts were being made to locate the suspect and denied any laxity in the investigation. Officials claimed that with the ban enforced in Gujarat, some unscrupulous contractors wanted to make a quick buck by smuggling liquor into dry states.
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