Congress sarpanch in illicit distillery case surrenders - ECAS Punjab

Congress sarpanch in illicit distillery case surrenders

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Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 13

Almost a month after the police sealed an illegal distillery in Ghanaur, Congress-backed Khanpur Khurd sarpanch Amrik Singh, the main accused in the case, today surrendered at Shambhu police station, while another accused was arrested.

Political patronage

The sarpanch and his aide managed to sell illegal liquor worth crores of rupees. The illegal unit had enjoyed political patronage since Amrik Singh's wife is a Zila Parishad member. — A source

Two local Congress men reportedly accompanied Amrik Singh to the police station. Sources said police raids and political pressure led to the surrender.

The sources said Amrik Singh owned many liquor vends in and around Ghanaur and Rajpura. He allegedly entered into a partnership with Dipesh, who had set up the illegal distillery in Ghanaur in December last year. Dipesh was arrested around 10 days ago.

Amrik's role in dealing with partners and his alleged connivance with politicians is also under the scanner. "Who benefited and pocketed the crores earned by the mafia during the lockdown needs a thorough probe," said a top official.

Ghanaur MLA Madan Lal Jalalpur has already said that he was unaware of the deals of Amrik Singh, but "called" him his aide.

Patiala SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu said, "Our teams arrested another accused in the case, identified as Hardeep Singh. He was nabbed from Banur."

A senior police officer, investigating the case, said, "Dipesh went to Uttar Pradesh to meet professional bootleggers and bought machinery for turning ENL (extra neutral alcohol) into fake branded liquor. He also brought labour to run the distillery after demand for cheap liquor increased in Ghanaur."

"Around that time, Amrik Singh entered into a partnership with Dipesh. Amrik would arrange raw material, including ENL and labels of various brands, for Dipesh. He would buy the liquor from Dipesh and sell it at his vends," the officer said.

"The distillery, which was being run from a cold store, was operating at full capacity since the lockdown. The accused were bottling liquor in Royal Stag, Masti Malta, Lajawab Sofia and Raseela Santra bottles, which are popular brands in the region," said Ghanaur DSP Manpreet Singh.



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