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SAD president to sit on dharna outside Sonia Gandhi’s residence

Nisha Agarwal

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Saturday that he will sit on a dharna outside Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence in Delhi on August 11 to protest against the “party’s involvement in production and pedalling of spurious liquor that killed more than 100 people in Punjab”. The SAD chief also said that he will push for a statement from top central leaders of the Congress party over the issue.

The party tweeted that under the leadership of their president, the SAD leaders will protest outside Sonia Gandhi’s house to demand for the resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for failing to curb illicit liquor trade and will also demand action against the culprits responsible for the worst hooch tragedy Punjab has witnessed in three decades.

On Friday, the Punjab CM had said that the perpetrators of the hooch tragedy would not be spared at any cost and that the properties of those responsible would be confiscated. According to an official release, the CM also enhanced compensation to the kin of victims of hooch tragedy from existing Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. The death toll in the hooch tragedy has risen to 121. The CM pointed out that investigations are underway and that the Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta has been directed to expedite them.

Meanwhile, opposition Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has alleged that some Congress leaders, including a former minister, a cabinet minister, four party MLAs and the relatives of Punjab CM’s religious adviser, were running the liquor business in the state. the liquor mafia is being patronised by the Congress-led government, said Akali Dal general secretary and spokesperson Dr Daljit Cheema. "The SIT is just an eyewash. We demand a judicial probe into the deaths as the liquor mafia is being patronised by the Congress-led government,” said Akali Dal general secretary and spokesperson Dr Daljit Cheema.

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