The Punjab Police has launched a second phase of its concerted drive against drugs since May 23, 2015 to eradicate the remnants of drugs in the state under the personal supervision of the district SSPs/CPs. Since June 1, 2015 the SSPs/CPs are monitoring the availability of drugs in their respective jurisdictions so as to ensure a complete crackdown and non-availability of drugs.
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of Punjab Police informed that in the present drive against drugs 1243 persons have been arrested in 1181 FIRs (between May 23-31, 2015). 83634 pills/capsules, 2305 Kg poppy husk, 36 Kg opium and varying quantities of remnant hard drugs (10.47 Kg heroin, 8 Kg cocaine and 32.5 Kg smack) including heroin/smack/opium have been seized.
The spokesman said that Punjab Police has adopted a two-pronged strategy to combat drug trafficking in the state after a major anti-drug drive launched since mid-2014 had broken the drug retail networks in the state. The strategy focusing on (i) complete eradication of remnants of peddling in close-knit circles (of old stock/drugs smuggled from outside state), and (ii) intercepting trans-border transit consignments has been put on ground with the objective of ensuring no availability of drugs in the state. Also, Punjab Police is focusing on trans-border transit of drugs outside the state so as to intercept narcotic consignments in the hinterland after they cross the international border and break international drug trafficking networks.
The spokesman revealed that no reports about new consumers or peddlers indulging in drug trade have come to notice in the last one year. Availability of drugs has been controlled. However, there were some reports of hard-core drug peddlers disposing off small quantities of drugs in close-knit circles of old consumers by using old stocks or drugs smuggled from outside the state. Keeping in view these reports, this new drive has been launched.
The spokesman said that village touring by field police officers has been started under the supervision of the Zonal IGPs to reach out to the public at the grass root levels so as to consult and involve them about exploring alternative employment avenues for former peddlers. Village Panchayats have been involved in this exercise which is aimed at ensuring that the former drug peddlers do not relapse into crime again.
The spokesman pointed out that Punjab Police was focusing on intelligence-led operations for intercepting narcotic consignments being sent from across the international border to outside the state which transit through Punjab in 2-5 hours. The Counter Intelligence Wing of the Punjab Police has recently busted an international drug trafficking network transiting heroin from Pakistan through Punjab to UP and arrested four persons, including two Pakistan nationals. 2.5 kg heroin, Rs.65 lakhs Indian currency, one .32 bore German made revolver, one 315 bore rifle, one Pak-made mobile handset with Pak SIM Card, Swift Car No. PB-10-BS-4298 and Bullet Motor Cycle No.PB-02-BC-4252 have been seized. A case FIR No.9, dated 01.06.2015 u/s 21/22/29/61/85 NDPS Act, 25 Arms Act, 3/34/20 IP Act has been registered in P.S. State Special Operations Cell, Amritsar.
The spokesman added that investigations has revealed that the main kingpin on the Indian side was Sukhdev Singh r/o Village Ghania Ke Bangar, district Gurdaspur (Police Distt. Batala). He is an old smuggler and an associate of smuggler Karam Singh @ Karma r/o Village Havelian, district Amritsar presently lodged in Ferozepur Jail. Both of them were arrested together in 1990 in a gold smuggling case. Sukhdev Singh had shifted to UP and had recently come back to Punjab and re-established contact with Karma as he had come into contact with one Pargat Singh r/o Village Dayalpur, district Tarn Taran, now based in district Bahraich of UP on the Indo-Nepal border. Pargat Singh told Sukhdev Singh that he is in contact with a heroin distribution network in UP and can dispose off heroin and asked Sukhdev Singh to arrange heroin consignments. Sukhdev Singh contacted his old associate Karam Singh @ Karma who provided him with a Pak SIM Card and also introduced him to Pak smuggler Arshad @ Lambardar r/o Village Janoya, district Shekhopura. Sukhdev Singh roped in one Sarmukh Singh r/o Village Fattu Pilla, district Amritsar and one Avtar Singh r/o Village Bagrian, district Amritsar (now at Goindwal Sahib, district Tarn Taran) to join him and after exchange of calls and messages with Arshad an RV was fixed in the Ajnala sector in the area of Shahpur forward post for receiving of narcotic consignment from couriers to be sent by Arshad.
The spokesman said that investigations have further revealed that two Pak nationals Razif Mohd. r/o Village Sanipur, district Shekhopura and Mohd. Akib Khan r/o Village Derianwale, district Narowal crossed the international border along with narcotic consignment of 19.5 kg heroin and one revolver in the area of Shahpur forward post in the Ajnala sector in the intervening night of 20/21 May, 2015 and were received by Sukhdev Singh, Avtar Singh and Sarmukh Singh about 3 km inside the Indian territory. The border is riverine with the fencing inside the Indian Territory and the river Ravi forms the natural boundary between the two countries making it easier to cross. Generally Pak couriers either throw the consignments over the fence/conceal it in the fields across the fencing but in the present instance, the two Pak couriers crossed into India and accompanied Sukhdev Singh and his associate to Village Ghania Ke Bangar and stayed there. The narcotic consignment was distributed between Sukhdev Singh (2.5 Kg), Avtar Singh (6 Kg), Sarmukh Singh (5 Kg), Pargat Singh (4 Kg and another 4 Kg given by Sarmukh Singh out of his 5 Kg) and Gurbax Singh r/o Village Havelian- brother of Karam Singh @ Karma (2 Kg). 2.5 Kg heroin has been seized from Sukhdev Singh while police parties have been dispatched to UP and other places to effect the arrest of Avtar Singh, Pargat Singh, Gurbax Singh and others figuring in the investigation. A sum of Rs.65 lakhs has been seized from the Swift Car No.PB-10-BS-4298 at the time of the arrest of Sukhdev Singh and Sarmukh Singh which is drug money from the sale of narcotic drugs.
The spokesman disclosed that co-ordination and liaison has been maintained with the BSF authorities who, along with district police have been associated with the examination of the arrested smugglers at the Joint Interrogation Centre (JIC), Amritsar. After examination of the arrested smugglers, the crossing point of the international border (IB) in the area of Shahpur forward post in Ajnala sector has been jointly inspected by Sh. N.K.Mishra, DIG/BSF/Gurdaspur sector, Sh. R.S.Kataria, DIG/G/BSF at Jalandhar, Sh. Jasdeep Singh, SSP/Amritsar Rural and Sh. Ashwani Kumar, AIG/CI/Amritsar in order to have a first-hand assessment and to take appropriate remedial measures for plugging the loopholes. Further investigations are ongoing, the spokesman added.