Police believe that they may have died after drinking liquor from the same toxic consignment that claimed lives in Bulandshahr’s Jeetgarhi village. “The bodies have been sent for post-mortem. The exact cause of the death will be known soon,” circle officer (Sikandrabad) Namrita Srivastava told TOI.
The illegal factory in Kasna’s UPSIDC Site-V was unearthed by Bulandshahr police in Kasna on Sunday evening. The tip-off was given by another accused, Kaalu, who also drank liquor from the same batch and is admitted in a hospital in Noida.
“A total of 36 cartons of illicit liquor, raw material and packaging equipment were seized from the factory,” Noida police commissioner Alok Singh said.
According to police, Chandrabhan alias Minku, the kingpin of the illicit liquor racket, had started the operation from the factory after taking it on rent on January 2. He is still on the run.
Police in Bulandshahr have already arrested at least eight accused, including the supplier Kuldeep, who is believed to have brought the toxic liquor from the Noida factory and distributed it locally with the help of his aides. Meanwhile, GB Nagar police have arrested Surendra Sharma, the owner of the Kasna factory, as well as property dealers Neeraj Nagar and Shashank Tyagi, who gave the unit to Chandrabhan on rent.
While Bulandshahr police have concluded that the spurious liquor was being manufactured, packaged and supplied from the rental unit in Kasna, additional DCP (Greater Noida) Vishal Pandey said that the factory was being used only for packaging the liquor.
Police sources said the liquor was being sourced from other states like Haryana and was being mixed in Kasna and supplied to districts in UP. Circle officer Srivastava said Chandrabhan knows how to mix alcohol to produce substandard liquor.
“Packets with fake logos have been recovered from the factory,” she said.
Interestingly, Chandrabhan and his accomplices had shifted their base to this unit only on January 2. It was taken on rent of Rs 25,000 per month on the pretext of running a cosmetics factory, according to the dealers who sealed the deal.
Police claimed in a statement that the factory owner and two dealers knew that the factory was to be used for liquor production and gave it on rent due to “greed for more money”. “We have sent our team to Bulandshahr to verify the exact cause behind their shifting base to Kasna. There was possibly a raid at their unit in Bulandshahr by the excise department some days ago. We will be able to reveal more about it after the team returns,” additional DCP Pandey said.