Mandi/Dharamsala, January 20
The death count in the hooch tragedy in Slappar area in Mandi district rose to seven today with two more victims dying. One person died in hospital, while another passed away at his home. The deceased were identified as Sita Ram (55) of Khanyod village and Bhagat Ram (42) of Malthani village in Mandi.
Sundernagar ex-MLA blames govt for deaths
- Sohan Lal Thakur, former Congress MLA from Sundernagar, blamed the government for seven deaths in the Mandi hooch tragedy.
- He said complaints were made to police and excise officials about flourishing illicit liquor trade in Slappar. But due to political patronage to the liquor mafia, action was not taken in time.
SP, Mandi, Shalini Agnihotri said that seven persons had died in this tragedy, while eight others were battling for their lives in hospitals.
The SP stated that the police arrested four accused today. They were produced in court, which sent them to police remand for seven days. Those arrested are Sohan Lal, alias Ravi, a native of Chhajwar village, Pradeep Kumar, alias Deep, of Saroh and Jagdish Chand and Achchar Singh, both resident of Sudhan village in Mandi. It is believed that these persons were involved in the illicit trade of liquor in the Slappar area.
“The court has granted police custody of all the accused for seven days till January 26. Meanwhile, a manhunt for other accused is on,” said the SP.
“DGP Sanjay Kundu also reached Sundernagar and is camping there to supervise the investigation. Arvind Digvijay Negi, a seasoned police officer who has worked in the National Investigation Agency (NIA), has been made a member of the SIT formed to investigate the case,” she said.
“The SIT investigating the case earnestly, which, inter alia, includes a visit to the scene of crime, raids at suspected places, seizure of incriminating material and questioning of other suspects,” she added.
Earlier, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Thursday ordered the formation a special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the hooch tragedy in Sundernagar.
Thakur, while talking to mediapersons in Dharamsala, said that he had directed the DGP to personally visit Sundernagar and probe into the incident. No accused responsible for the death of seven people would be spared. Officials, who had failed to check the illegal sale of liquor, would also be held accountable, he added.
Meanwhile, Sohan Lal Thakur, former Congress MLA from Sundernagar, targeted the government over seven deaths in the Mandi hooch tragedy.
He alleged due to political patronage, action was not taken against the liquor mafia doing a flourishing trade in the Slappar area.