The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh will now make the liquor mafia give financial assistance to families of those who die due to consumption of spurious liquor.
The decision comes after spurious liquor claimed three dozen lives in Aligarh last week.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered that all illegal liquor outlets would be destroyed.
Additional chief secretary (ACS), home, Avanish Awasthi has asked ADG (prosecution) to submit a list of matters linked with excise within three days, along with directions to take strict action against the culprits in cases of manufacture and sale of illicit liquor.
Awasthi said that action against the culprits must be taken under Section 60 of the UP Excise Act and the Gangsters Act.
The details of such persons against whom FIR is registered under the two Acts will be uploaded on the e-prosecution portal and provided separately to the government.
According to Section 60, a person selling or making available an intoxicating substance or adding something to a substance to make it intoxicating which leads to the death of a person, will be punishable by death or life sentence.
In cases where such substance causes disability, the culprit will be sentenced to six to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and can be fined between Rs 5-10 lakh.
Meanwhile, provisions have been made to issue licenses and permits for the possession and sale of methyl alcohol, a key ingredient of spurious liquor, and district magistrates have been authorized as the licensing authority.
ACS excise Sanjay Bhoosreddy said that methyl alcohol is a poison, declared under the Poison Act.
After having issued directions about safe transport of methyl alcohol to prevent its misuse, the government has now said that permits for the possession and sale of methyl alcohol can only be licensed by district magistrates.
“Under the rules, in addition to the magistrate, officers of the police, revenue, health, excise and industry, not below the rank of inspector, have been empowered to inspect these licenses. A three-member nodal committee will be set up at the district level for implementation of the rules,” Bhoosreddy said.
He added that orders have been issued to keep vigil on the use of methyl alcohol and action will be taken if an unlicensed unit is caught producing methyl alcohol.
Tanks and containers of methyl alcohol have to be clearly marked and a poison sign has to be inscribed compulsorily on both sides of the tanker.
Strict action will be taken against a person found indulging in illegal trade of methyl alcohol. In case of death due to consumption of illicit liquor made from methyl alcohol or the seizure of illicit liquor in large quantities, accountability of the local excise and police officers will be fixed.
“Gangster Act and NSA shall be invoked against those found involved in the activities of illicit liquor and action will be taken to confiscate their property,” Bhoosreddy said.
Meanwhile, The Aligarh unit of the BJP has expelled Rishi Sharma, the alleged kingpin of the hooch tragedy, from the party.
District president of BJP, Rishipal Pal Singh, has cancelled Rishi Sharma’s primary membership, a party press release said.
The Aligarh Police have started the process of charging all the five main accused including Sharma, who was arrested on Sunday, under the stringent National Security Act and the Gangster Act.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kalanidhi Naithani said, “The accused are being interrogated and are expected to reveal the entire network of the liquor mafia.”
Rishi Sharma was in disguise and was hiding among a group of sadhus at an ashram at Garhmukteshwar near Hapur to evade the police. After the hooch tragedy claimed three dozen lives in Aligarh last month.
Police had managed to trace his whereabouts from the video footage of one of his close associates with whom he was last seen when the news of the liquor tragedy came in.
The police raided the premises of several of Sharma’s associates in different states including Himachal Pradesh.
After they traced him to Garhmukteshwar Ashram on Saturday evening, a police party rushed there only to find that he had escaped.
He was finally tracked down at the Aligarh-Bulandshahr border where he was ultimately arrested on Sunday.