BJP Expels Hooch Tragedy ‘Kingpin’ from Party, NSA to Be Invoked Against 5 Arrested

The BJP on Monday expelled Rishi Sharma, the alleged kingpin in the hooch tragedy case, from the party. District president of BJP Rishipal Pal Singh has cancelled Rishi Sharma’s primary membership, a party press release said. Aligarh Police has started the process of charging all the five main accused, including Sharma, who was arrested on Sunday, under the stringent National Security Act and the Gangster Act, Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani said. The accused are being interrogated and are expected to reveal the entire network of the liquor mafia, police sources said.

They said Rishi Sharma was in disguise and was hiding among a group of sadhus at an ashram at Garhmukteshwar near Hapur to evade the police. Police had managed to trace his whereabouts from the video footage of one of his close associates with whom he was last seen when the news of the liquor tragedy, which has claimed at least 35 lives, started trickling on the night of May 27. During the past week, police raided the premises of several of Sharma’s associates in different states, including Himachal Pradesh. After they traced him to Garhmukteshwar Ashram on Saturday evening, a police party rushed there only to discover that he had escaped. With the help of some informers, he was tracked down at the Aligarh-Bulandshahr border where he was ultimately nabbed after a manhunt lasting nine days.

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