The Madhya Pradesh government has invoked the stringent NSA (National Security Act) against three bootleggers arrested after the sale and consumption of illicit liquor killed 14 people – most of whom were beggars or poor labourers – in Ujjain district earlier this week.
In addition, three senior police officers – including the Superintendent (SP) and Additional Superintendent (ASP) of Ujjain Police – have been transferred and another SP, Rajnish Kashyap, has been suspended. Two police constables, a doctor and a medical store employee have been arrested for their alleged role in making the spurious liquor available to the bootleggers.
So far 10 people have been arrested and four police personnel suspended or moved out.
Apart from the arrest, transfer and suspension of police personnel, the Assistant Excise Commissioner of Ujjain, KC Agnihotri, and the Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Subodh Jain, have been shifted out and suspended, respectively.
According to PTI Subodh Jain was allegedly close to two of the bootleggers – identified as Sikandar and Gabbar, who were also contractual workers with the Ujjain Municipal Corporation.
Houses belonging to them have also been demolished as they were constructed illegally
Everyone involved in the racket will be brought to justice, Ujjain Collector Ashish Singh declared on Thursday, warning of a “crack down against those who sell toxic liquor”. The NSA will be used against such people, Mr Singh said.
Rupesh Dwivedi, a senior Ujjain police official, told PTI investigations into the exact nature of the illegal liquor, including where it was produced and how it was distributed, are still ongoing.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced an inquiry led by senior home ministry official Rajesh Rajora.
“If such a thing is being sold elsewhere, police should find it out and prosecute the offenders severely,” Mr Chouhan said 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”.