Gujarat government forms committee to investigate hooch tragedy case
In a damage control exercise, the government of Gujarat on Tuesday formed an investigative committee headed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate the reasons behind the hooch tragedy case. As of Tuesday afternoon, 28 people have died after consuming illicit alcohol in rural districts of Ahmedabad and Botad. Of the 28 deaths, two are suspicious.
Announcing the formation of the investigation committee, State Interior Minister Harsh Sanghvi said, “Subhash Trivedi-IGP (CID-crime) will lead the committee, while the other members are IAS Nikhil Gandhi and HP Sanghvi, director of the Gujarat Forensic Science Laboratory. . The committee will submit its report to the government within three days.
Later, speaking to reporters in Gandhinagar, Ashish Bhatia, Director General of Police (DGP), said: “The kingpin of the hooch tragedy is a certain Jayesh Khavadia, who is working with AMOS company as as supervisor. The company sells industrial alcohol (methyl alcohol) as it repackages industrial alcohol from 100 liter barrel to 2.5 liter bottles and supplies them to a factory in Changodar.
The officer further said, “During this transport, Jayesh stole 600 liters and sold them to his distant cousins Vinod and Sanjay Bhikhabhai, against payment of Rs 40,000. The police recovered 460 unused liters with the brothers.
A Vipul smuggler who brought Vinod’s liquor also died after drinking illicit alcohol, the officer said.
After drinking illicit alcohol, 22 people died in Botad district, six in rural areas of Ahmedabad, while two deaths are suspicious. In these connections, three FIRs were filed, one each with Barwala, Ranpura and Dhandhuka.
“Rojid Village Panchayat had earlier complained to the local police about the hooch activity, and the police carried out raids six times. In this regard, FIRs have been filed and two bootleggers have been arrested,” said the DGP.