I am very sad as a citizen that “poisonous chemical” has claimed so many lives in Gujarat: Home Minister Harsh Sanghvi

| Updated: July 27, 2022 9:42 pm

Yes, the Gujarat government has not admitted, and sources assertively tell Vibes of India that they will not admit, that spurious chemical-laden alcohol has claimed 58 lives in the State with 88 men still in various hospitals. On the third day of the hooch tragedy, the State government continued with its theory of death due to poisonous chemicals which they say villagers in Botad district drank because alcohol has completely been banished. Though the villagers and relatives of the hooch tragedy victims, including several survivors, have come on record stating that they had alcohol at their regular adda (dens) in their respective villages, for those in power and those supporting them, it simply remains that these poor men drank Methyl Alcohol, an industrial purpose chemical. Home Minister Harsh Sanghvi, who is known for his proactive actions in the police department held his first press conference in Gandhinagar on Wednesday evening to brief the media about action taken by the ruling BJP government. Speaking at the media interaction, Harsh Sanghvi said he was very sad at the death of so many people in Botad. I am sad as a citizen, he said that so many people had died due to the consumption of a chemical. He said investigations have revealed that 600 litres of chemical was stolen from a factory in Ahmedabad and sold in different villages of Botad district. This has led to the death of 42 citizens so far and 97 are still in various hospitals. He said Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has instructed for intense checking in every village so that anyone unwell who has yet not come out in public can be moved to government hospitals for free treatment. He said so many that over 97 people are in hospital because 2500 jawans distributed in 30 teams went to different villages and using torches at night even found people lying in villages and outside the village boundaries. With combing, 550 litres of chemicals have been seized to prevent the further occurrence of a similar tragedy. Sanghavi said the police have arrested all those involved in this tragedy. A charge sheet will be filed in 10 days and the case will be taken to a fast track court for, speedier than usual, justice.  He appreciated the action of Botad SP Karanraj Vaghela who has adopted four children rendered orphans following the hooch tragedy. The minister said his government has taken action against the top ten bootleggers of Gujarat including Nagdan PrabhudanGadhvi, Alkesh Bankalia and Pintu aka Gorakh Gadri. Nagdan is believed to sell IMFL worth Rs 100 crore every month in Saurashtra alone. Nagdan is an aide of Vinod Sindhi, Gujarat’s topmost bootlegger. Vinod Sindhi, sources told Vibes of India is “above police reach”. Recently when Nagdan was arrested earlier this month, a number of policemen found their names in his diary but no action has yet been taken, Vo! source added. When asked why the government was not admitting it was alcohol, Sanghvi said it is not my job to comment on what others feel but my responsibility is to ensure that prohibition is strictly implemented in Gujarat. After the Committee submits its reports, action will be taken against all those found involved in the hooch tragedy. He said the Centre has been duly apprised of the situation in Gujarat. Additional DG (Law and Order) Narsimha Komar said police have exposed the network in the chemical consumption case and three police complaints have been registered. He said all except two of the 97 patients, across the State, are stable. In the recent past, police have registered 2203 cases and detained or arrested 1043 accused.
DGP Ashish Bhatia informed that the Gujarat police are determined to take action against one and all violating the prohibition law. He said over a period of one year, 77,000 cases have been registered under violation of the prohibition Act and over 66,000 people were detained in these cases.

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