Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday directed the Police department to crack down on all kinds of liquor smuggling, bootlegging and illicit distillation of liquor to protect the cash-strapped state from incurring any revenue losses due to such activities.
Earlier in the day, Punjab Today published an article
by Bir Devinder Singh demanding the resignation of Punjab CM in which he termed the ‘spurious liquor trade’ as Royal Watergate
Now, the Chief Minister has ordered immediate action to be initiated against DSPs of Sub-Divisions and the SHOs in whose areas such activity is seen taking place, and strict proceedings against any government officer/official found negligent or supporting any illegal activity in any manner relating to distillation/smuggling/distribution of liquor etc.
On the directives of the Chief Minister, DGP Dinkar Gupta has issued necessary directives to all CPs and SSPs in the state to identify liquor smugglers/suppliers/bootleggers, district-wise and police station wise, by May 23. The officers have been asked to take all possible legal action against all such persons, including under the relevant provisions of the Disaster Management and Epidemics Act etc.
The DGP said that the Chief Minister has made it clear that due to acute economic and financial stress all over the world and India, arising out of the curfew/lockdown to contain the spread of Covid, the state government needs to mobilize all possible revenue. Thus it cannot afford any loss of revenue on account of smuggling of liquor from outside the State, or on account of illicit distillation of liquor or bootlegging, he said.
In pursuance of the Chief Minister’s orders, the CPs and SSPs have been asked to put the SHOs of all Police Stations, especially the bordering Police Stations on notice, and direct them to ensure that no smuggling of liquor into Punjab takes place. The DGP warned that in case of failure to do so, the concerned SHO will be shifted out, and necessary departmental action taken against him as well as the defaulters. Any government officer/official found supporting any illegal activity relating to distillation/smuggling/distribution of liquor etc. shall be proceeded against very strongly, as directed by the Chief Minister, he added.
The DGP has directed the CPs and SSPs to have a VC meeting with their DSPs of Sub-divisions and SHOs to make it absolutely clear that if any illegal liquor factory is found operational in his area of jurisdiction, as in Khanna and Rajpura recently, he will be liable to be shifted out and legal/departmental action initiated against him. He will also become ineligible for SHO and public dealing postings in the future.
All CPs and SSPs have further been asked to monitor inter-state smuggling of liquor on a daily basis. All CPs and IGP/DIG Ranges will send a Monthly Report, along with a DO letter, on the achievements of the districts falling in their jurisdiction in this regard, to ADGP Law & Order by 5th of every month, without fail, said the DGP.
All CPs and SSPs have also been directed to remain in touch with the Excise Department officers and also the contractors for feedback, and to ensure sustained and focused efforts against drug smugglers/suppliers/distillers etc. Any failure in this regard would be viewed very seriously, warned the DGP.