Illicit liquor racket busted, kingpin held

Shimla, January 22

In a major breakthrough in the Mandi hooch tragedy case, the state police have busted an interstate racket and arrested several persons, including the kingpin who was running an illicit liquor factory in Hamirpur.

Mandi Hooch tragedy

  • 7 died after consuming spurious liquor in Mandi on Jan 19
  • Key accused Manhas ran an illicit liquor unit in Hamirpur
  • The illicit liquor was supplied to Kangra, Una, Bilaspur amp; Mandi
  • Empty bottles, labels marked 'Santra', other material seized

Those arrested include Gaurav Manhas alias Goru, the alleged kingpin, Sohan Lal (27), Pradeep Kumar (47), Jagdish Chand (53), Achchar Singh (69) and Narender alias Kalu. DGP Sanjay Kundu said all accused involved in the case had either been arrested or detained.

The factory was running from a building at Panyala village in Hamirpur with raw material procured from within and outside the state. Sources said Praveen owned the building, Pushpender and Sunny were working there and Manu and Gagan were Gaurav's partners. Sagar Saini of Delhi provided spirit drums and AK Tripathi of Samba in Jamp;K gave the formula to prepare liquor, said DGP Kundu.

At least seven persons had died after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Mandi on January 19. A case under Sections 304, 308 and 120 B of the IPC was registered at Sundernagar police station and an SIT was constituted. The SIT revealed Gaurav had a strong network of distributors and supply chain. Illicit liquor was being supplied in Kangra, Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Mandi districts. Water and empty bottles were procured from Hamirpur, bottles, caps, boxes and cartons from Parwanoo and machinery from Chandigarh. The SIT has seized over Rs 25 lakh, empty bottles, plastic tanks, labels marked "Santra" and VRV Foods Pvt Ltd, bottle sealing and filling machines, holograms, cartons, invoices and other documents from various locations.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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