Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia's attack on the state police chief is a "shameful attempt" to "exploit" the hooch tragedy and push his party's "political agenda" with an eye on next assembly polls.
Mr Singh was responding to the SAD leader's statement accusing state police chief Dinkar Gupta of "shielding" senior police official Dhruv Dahiya over his alleged failure to act on a complaint against the liquor mafia, when he was district police chief of Tarn Taran, leading to the tragedy.
There was no question or need of "shielding" an officer who had an unblemished track record against drug and illicit liquor smugglers or traders, said the Chief Minister in a statement.
Noting that Mr Dahiya was in his personal security, Mr Singh said, "A person who has links with the mafia, as was being suggested by the SAD, could hardly be trusted with my security."
Highlighting that all senior superintendents of police and deputy commissioners are appointed directly by him, Mr Singh said that state police chief or chief secretary can not be held responsible for their actions in any case.
Contrary to what Mr Majithia has been "falsely" claiming, Dhruv Dahiya had received no specific complaint from any citizen about manufacturing of hooch, said the chief minister.
In fact, if there had been even a suspicion of Mr Dahiya protecting or conniving with the liquor smugglers, I would have been the first to take action against the officer, as I had done against five others immediately after the tragedy came to light, he said.
Expressing shock at SAD's continued attempts to seize the major tragedy for promoting their "own vested interests", Mr Singh said it reflected the "appalling low" that the party has touched in its desperation to connect with people.
Mr Singh pointed out that the entire supply chain in the hooch tragedy, originating from Ludhiana and moving via Moga to Tarn Taran, Amritsar (rural) and Batala was unearthed from the investigation conducted by Mr Dahiya.