Gujarat hooch tragedy

by IANS |

Ahmedabad, Aug 2 (IANS) A lookout notice has been issued against Ahmedabad-based AMOS Company's director Samir Patel by the Bureau of Immigration in the Botad-Ahmedabad hooch tragedy in which 46 people died.

The notice was issued at the Gujarat government's request.

Patel was summoned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the hooch tragedy.

The state government-appointed SIT is headed by Superintendent of Police Nirlipt Rai, and it is investigating all aspects of illicit liquor trade.

Speaking to IANS, Rai said, "We are looking into how the 600 liters of Methyl Alcohol made its way out of the AMOS company and reached in the hands of bootleggers. In this connection we had issued summons to AMOS company's four directors asking them to appear before the investigation team to get their statement recorded, but none of the four directors appeared on Monday."

There was an apprehension that Samir Patel may flee the nation and so on the Gujarat government's request, the Union Home Ministry's Bureau of Immigration has issued a lookout notice, said the officer.

On Tuesday morning, the SIT team carried out search operations at the residences and other premises of Samir Patel and other director residences.

Patel and another director, Rajat Choksi, are absconding. Two other directors, Chandubhai Patel and Pankaj Patel, were available, summons were issued to them asking them to appear personally or through advocate before the SIT by Wednesday evening. These two directors are 80 plus and SIT is trying to understand their role in the company, whether they are active partners or sleeping partners in the company, the officer added.

Rai said there is some laxity on the part of the Prohibition and Excise department, as without their permission, unauthorised Methanol, the most poisonous chemical, made its way into the grey market.

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