Chandigarh, Aug 2 (IANS) In a scathing counter to the Delhi Chief Minister's demand for CBI probe into the hooch tragedy, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, here on Sunday, told Arvind Kejriwal to mind his own business and not to exploit the tragic event for reviving his defunct Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state.
Singh ticked off Kejriwal over the latter's Twitter remark that the case should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“So many people have died and all you are interested in is making a political gain from it. Don't you have any shame?” he asked Kejriwal and told him to concentrate on maintaining law and order in his own state, which was notorious for the brazen manner in which criminals and gangs were roaming the streets.
Trashing Kejriwal's claim that “none of the recent illicit liquor cases has been solved by the local police,” the Punjab Chief Minister asked the AAP leader to verify his facts before shooting his mouth off.
Citing the recent April 22 busting of an illicit liquor unit in the Khanna district, Singh said eight accused had been arrested and hunt to nab seven others was on.
In another case, the two kingpins of an illicit liquor unit in the Patiala district were arrested on May 22 and June 13, and on July 10, the challan was filed in the court.
Another case was unearthed in May with the arrest of a mafia leader. The police were waiting for chemical analysis report to move forward, he added.
Expressing full faith in the Punjab Police, which had taken quick action in all the recent illicit liquor cases, the Chief Minister said Kejriwal's demand for the CBI probe was nothing but a political gimmick aimed at regaining foothold for the AAP that had lost ground in Punjab despite being the principal opposition party.
Singh said while the cases of targeted killings in Punjab were handed over to the CBI, it was the Punjab Police that solved the cases. Even in the sacrilege cases, the CBI failed to deliver, he said and added, it was the Punjab Police that were unravelling the case.
Rather than delaying the probe and allowing the trail to go cold in this hooch tragedy by handing over the probe to the CBI, he was more interested in ensuring swift action against those whose greed had cost the state around 100 lives, Singh said.
The Chief Minister asked his Delhi counterpart to check out his facts before making unsubstantiated and wild allegations against his government, whose track record in curbing crime was exemplary.
“Why don't you ask your Punjab unit for data first and then comment on our working,” he said.
Singh also advised Kejriwal to concentrate on his state's horrendous Covid situation. “Rather than worrying about Punjab's affairs, why don't you take care of the health and lives of Delhiites,” the Chief Minister said while wishing luck in his fight against Covid.
Stating that strict action was being taken, Singh said in this hooch tragedy too, 30 people had been arrested in three districts. Moreover, 13 police and the excise and taxation department officials had been suspended for negligence. Investigations were on to ascertain their complicity in the case, he said.
A magisterial inquiry had been ordered with the mandate to submit its report within a month, he said and added, what was the need for the CBI to take over the case when the local police was handling it effectively.
The Chief Minister said a concerted campaign was launched by the police in January against smugglers of illicit liquor and spirit. Many were already in the police net and were facing action as per the law, Singh added.