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Uttarakhand to bring stringent law against spurious liquor (Lead)

Feb 12 (IANS) Facing widespread criticism over a hooch tragedy that left over 100 people dead in the state and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, the Uttarakhand government on Tuesday announced a house committee would probe the incident and it would also enact a stringent law against spurious liquor.

As the opposition members created ruckus in the Assembly, Speaker Prem Chand Agarwal said a house committee would be set up to probe the entire incident.

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the government would bring a bill to curb spurious liquor.

Rawat has told Excise Minister Prakash Pant to immediately start working on the bill that would effectively curb the thriving racket of illicit liquor in backward areas, especially those on the border with Uttar Pradesh.

He also said that the government would try its best to bring the bill in the current session of the state assembly itself.

Under the provisions, those found guilty of involvement in the spurious liquor racket can face lifelong imprisonment and hefty fines, Pant said.

A special surveillance cell in the Excise Department would also be set up to keep a tab on any nefarious activity related to the sale and purchase of spurious liquor materials.

Besides, the government has also set up a special investigating team (SIT) under the Inspector General of Police, Garhwal, Ajay Rautela to probe the incident.

For the last two days, the opposition parties in the state are demanding the resignation of the Rawat government saying it has totally failed in the state in the wake of the spurious liquor tragedy in Haridwar district as well as Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

While 36 people died in Uttarakhand, 70 died in Saharanpur in what is considered to be the worst-such incident in the region in many decades.



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