Gujarat govt forms committee to probe hooch tragedy case

In a damage control exercise, Gujarat government on Tuesday formed a Fact Finding Committee headed by Inspector General of Police (IGP) to inquire into reasons behind the hooch tragedy case. Till Tuesday afternoon, 28 persons have died after drinking illicit liquor in Ahmedabad rural and Botad districts. Out of the 28 deaths, two are suspicious.

Announcing the formation of the Fact Finding Committee, Minister of State for Home, Harsh Sanghvi said, “Subhash Trivedi- IGP (CID- crime) will head the committee, while other members are IAS Nikhil Gandhi and H.P. Sanghvi Director of Gujarat Forensic Science Laboratory. The committee will submit its report within three days to the government.”

Later addressing the media persons in Gandhinagar, Ashish Bhatia, Director General of Police (DGP) said, “The kingpin in the hooch tragedy is one Jayesh Khavadia, who is working with AMOS company as supervisor. The company deals in industrial alcohol (Methyl Alcohol) as it repacks the industrial alcohol from 100 liter barrel to 2.5 liter bottles and supply them to a factory in Changodar.”

The officer further said, “During this transportation, Jayesh had stolen 600 liters and sold them to his far related cousins Vinod and Sanjay Bhikhabhai, against the payment of Rs 40,000. Police have recovered unused 460 liters from the brothers.”

One bootlegger Vipul who had brought the alcohol from Vinod had also died after drinking illicit liquor, said the officer.

After drinking illicit liquor, 22 persons have died in Botad district, six in Ahmedabad rural areas, while two deaths are suspicious. In these connections, three FIRs have been lodged, one each with Barwala, Ranpura and Dhandhuka.

“Rojid Village Panchayat had earlier complained to local police about the hooch activity, and police carried out raids six times. I this regard, FIRs were filed and two bootleggers were arrested,” the DGP said.

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