The Haryana government has set up a three-member special investigation team to look into a case involving a large stock of alcohol that went missing from a godown in Sonipat district, reported PTI on Wednesday. The state’s home minister said a first information report has been ordered in the matter.

“The matter of theft of liquor from the recovered stock kept in a temporary warehouse at Kharkhoda-Matindoo road in Sonipat was brought to my notice by DGP [Director General of Police] himself on May 5,” Anil Vij said. The minister added that this was a serious matter and claimed such incidents were impossible without the involvement of the staff on duty.

Vij said alcohol was not sold in the state till May 5. He suspected that the liquor mafia may have influenced the police and the state’s excise department officials when alcohol sale was prohibited.

The investigation team comprises three officials, including an Indian Administrative Service officer. The team has been asked to submit its findings to the state government within 20 days, Vij added.

Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, who has the charge of the excise department, on Tuesday pointed out that Vij had ordered an inquiry in the matter.

Liquor has also been stolen in Madhya Pradesh. At least 950 country liquor bottles have gone missing from the strong room of a police station in Mihona town of the state, according to PTI. District’s Superintendent of Police Nagendra Singh said he received information that the bottles have been sold amid the lockdown to contain the coronavirus.

“I went to the police station on Tuesday night and after going through the seizure stock record, found 950 quarter bottles [of 180 ml each] missing,” Singh said. “I have suspended police station in-charge inspector Amar Singh Sikarwar and head constable Ramesh Bansal, in-charge of the strong room, forthwith.” He added that a sub-divisional officer will conduct the investigation.

In the past four years, a total of 3,400 bottles had been recovered, Singh said, adding that 2,200 of them were kept at the strong rooms in local courts. The rest of the 1,200 were in the police station.

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