The leaders of the Shiromani Akali, who are going on a sit-in at the Punjab Raj Bhavan, were arrested by the Chandigarh Police. Led by senior Akali Dal leader Balwinder Singh Bhundar and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia, they were marching with the intention of staging a protest against the party leader at Raj Bhavan but they were arrested by the Chandigarh Police and transported to the Sector 3 police station from where they were later released.
Interacting with the media, Bhundad and Majithia said that the Punjab government should be immediately sacked for liquor scandal, and compensation of Rs 25 lakh each should be given to the affected families along with government job to a family member. Akali leaders attacked the Chief Minister as they said, “it has now become clear that the Chief Minister is directly responsible for the poisonous liquor tragedy. That is why he did not take any action against Congressmen and distillery landlords engaged in the illegal liquor trade.”
They further informed that the Akali Dal had come to Raj Bhavan to tell Governor VP Singh Badnaur that the demand letter submitted by Wafad to them under the leadership of Sukhbir Badal and Manoranjan Kalia, should be acted upon. The two Akali leaders were also accompanied by some relatives of the aggrieved families from Muchhal village in Amritsar who pointed out, that, the CM during his visit to their village shared the stage with the MLAs who were accused of being responsible for distributing poisonous liquor, and it is condemnable.
State BJP president Ashwani Sharma, while taking a dig at the new announcements made by the Captain Amarinder Singh for the families of the victims his Tarn Taran visit said, “CM’s meeting with the families of those killed in the poisonous liquor tragedy is just a swindle and the Captain has come to fulfill his political motive, not to share the suffering of the victims.”
“The death of 123 people is not normal, but it is assassination by the government due to the negligence of Captain. Ashwani Sharma said that if the CM is equally concerned about healing the wounds of the victim’s families and assuring them that he will take action against the culprits then why is he shying away from asking the Central Government for a CBI inquiry into the matter?” asked Sharma.
Ashwani Sharma further added “CM had announced to give Rs 2-2 lakh to the victims but now has increased it to Rs 5 lakh and also promised to make pucca houses for those in kutcha houses. The Excise Department is retained by the Captain himself, therefore, he becomes directly responsible for this tragedy.”
“The Captain is talking about taking action against the culprits and punish them, but how can Punjab and Punjabis trust them, as Congress leaders, MLAs and ministers are themselves involved in these matters” concluded Sharma.
The Aam Aadmi Party also took the opportunity to attack the state government as AAP Punjab state president and MP Bhagwant Mann said that the chief minister took too long to inquire about the families of the victims. According to a statement released by Bhagwant Mann told the Chief Minister that the first death was reported on July 29 from poisonous liquor.
The statement further added “about 113 deaths have taken place in these 10–11 days and the process has not stopped. The Chief Minister could not declare anything more than 5 lakh compensation or health insurance, instead of only 2, to the victim’s families.”
Bhagwant Mann said, “instead of trying to protect the MLA’s and other Congressmen involved in this poisonous business, CM should have filed murder cases immediately against them.”
Meanwhile, The Punjab Police has arrested the two main accused father and son who were absconding in the poisonous liquor scandal. DGP Dinkar Gupta said that along with this, the section of murder has been added to the FIR registered against all the dons in this case. All these three districts are directly responsible for the deaths of 121 persons.
DGP Dinkar Gupta said that father-son Harjeet Singh and Shamsher Singh alias Shera, resident of Pandori Gola, were arrested. With his arrest, 54 people have been arrested in this case. 37 arrests have been made in Tarn Taran, 9 in Amritsar Rural, and 8 in Batala.