Two senior officers have been suspended by the Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday, in connection with the hooch tragedy in the state and neighbouring Uttarakhand, which killed 104 people. While 67 died in UP, 37 people have been killed in Uttarakhand. After a statewide crackdown, 79,000 litres of country made liquor have seized across the state.
The UP government, yesterday, announced a probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into the deaths, most of which occurred Saharanpur and Kushinagar in UP. The five-member SIT, headed by senior officer Sanjay Singhal, has been asked to specifically focus on any conspiracy angle and submit its report within 10 days.
The state government has also decided to suspend the circle officers in Saharanpur and Kushinagar. The action against officers came after a blame game over spurious liquor tragedy between the Yogi Adityanath-led government and the Samajwadi Party (SP). Ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief, Mayawati sought a CBI probe into the incident and claimed that it was the result of “sheer callousness” of the BJP government.
The Chief Minister has warned of strict action against anyone found linked to the illicit liquor trade, even if they were associated with any political party. “In the past too, such mischievous acts by SP leaders had come to fore. In Azamgarh, Hardoi, Kanpur and Barabanki, SP leaders were found to be involved in past hooch tragedies. We can’t deny conspiracy this time too,” Yogi Adityanath told reporters on Saturday.
Former chief minister and SP chief, Akhilesh Yadav took on the BJP and told news agency PTI, “The opposition has been alerting the government about such activities, but they did not act as some of its leaders are involved. The truth is that without the backing of the government, businesses on such a large scale cannot be carried out. The BJP should accept the fact that they cannot run the state.”
BSP chief Mayawati, too, accused the state government of being aware of “bootleggers running a parallel administration right under the nose of the authorities.”