If the police record is any indication, the hooch tragedy was waiting to happen as almost all accused of latest FIRs have been out on bails in various Excise Act cases.
The latest announcement of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh that he would not tolerate any political interference in the hooch tragedy case and his direction to DGP to book those directly involved for murder under section 302 of IPC, are late as huge damage has already been done.
Its another tragedy, which seems to be heading for the fate of others, happened in past. Its a set process that after every tragedy, Punjab government orders high level, later slows down the inquiry and finally when the report comes, majority of residents and victims have forgotten the tragedy and accused easily escape. In present hooch tragedy also, only allegations and counter-allegations have come to fore till date, but neither any senior politician of ruling congress nor any of opposition parities have been booked.
It also is the latest example of elected representative led by Punjab CM supporting bureaucrats as not a single senior officers including SSP or Deputy Commissioner have neither been booked nor suspended. Only junior officers like DSP, who have been posted on Sub division level have been suspended and the government has ordered inquiry against them.
To buy more time to hide the failure of senior authorities, Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Dinkar Gupta has ordered constitution of two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) to fast-track investigations in all the FIRs registered in the hooch tragedy. ADGP Law & Order Ishwar Singh will supervise both the SIT investigations. But what is the need of more SITs when the Punjab government has already assigned the investigations to senior officers?
Top of all, till date Punjab CM and his police have failed to show any sincere effort to punish the accused involved in hooch tragedy. Without taking action against senior officers and politicians, accused cannot be arrested and Punjab CM will have to decide whether he wants to protect killers or to stand for the victims.