Six police officers have been suspended and two Superintendents have been transferred. This is in response to the deaths occurring due to bootlegged hooch being produced and sold in Gujarat.
On the 28th of July, Thursday, The Gujarat Home Department took the decision of transferring two Botad and Ahmedabad Superintendents of Police. They also suspended six other police officers following the Gujarat hooch tragedy. A tragedy where over 40 people lost their lives after consuming counterfeit, spurious alcohol.
Through the initial investigations conducted by the police, a revelation was reached. The police identified a few small-scale bootleggers from different villages in the Botad district. They produced the contraband by simply diluting methyl alcohol or methanol with water. Methanol is a highly toxic chemical which is also used as an industrial solvent. This concoction was sold to villagers for Rs. 20 per pouch.
Further, according to forensics, police say that the analysis establishes that the victims consumed methyl alcohol.
Police officers that were suspended.
The Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Raj Kumar told reporters that they had transferred the Botad Superintendent Karanraj Vaghela and Ahmedabad Superintendents Virendrasingh Yadav. In addition, they also suspended the six other police officials. This included two deputy superintendents.
The officials who have been suspended are named as follows. DySP N. V. Patel, DySP S. K. Trivedi, inspector K. P. Jadeja, inspector S. B. Chaudhari and sub-inspectors B. G. Vala and Shailendrasinh Rana. All these officials from Ahmedabad’s Dholka, Dhandhuka and Botad divisions respectively.
Why were these officials suspended?
These officials were suspended due to their involvement, or lack thereof in the tragedy. As stated in the suspension letters that were issued by the Home Department, they were suspended for their neglect and dereliction of duty. Further, it stated their lack of commitment as they failed to stop the distribution and transportation of the substance. They also failed to stop the sale and consumption of the liquor that was “laced with poisonous chemicals” in their respective areas of duty.
More than forty people from Botad as well as neighbouring districts in Ahmedabad have died. This happened on July 25th, after the victims consumed the liquor. Furthermore, close to a hundred more people are still admitted in hospitals in Bhavnagar, Botad and Ahmedabad. the Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi stated.
Legal action against police and other accused.
The Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi further stated that there will be legal action taken at a speedy pace. He said that the police will file a charge sheet in the next 10 days. This will ensure quick justice. Additionally, the government will also appoint a Special Public Prosecutor to fight their case.
Moreover he said that the fifteen primary people accused have already been arrested. This is inclusive of the one person who acquired the chemical as well as the few who sold the liquor to the people.
On Tuesday, the Botad and Ahmedabad police filed nearly three First Information Reports against almost 20 perpetrators under the Indian Penal Code. Specifically, under Indian Penal Code Sections 302 (for murder), section 328 (causing hurt by poison) and 120-B (for criminal conspiracy).
According to investigations carried out by the police, a person named Jayesh, who also goes by the name Raju and was arrested, stole 600 litres of methyl alcohol from a warehouse in Ahmedabad. He worked there as a manager and went on to sell it to his cousin named Sanjay, who was based in Botad, for Rs. 40,000 on 25th July.
Sanjay was well aware of the illegality of his actions. He knew that the chemical was an industrial solvent but went on to sell it to the bootleggers from different villages of Botad. This sinister action then caused the deaths and injuries of the multiple people in Gujarat.