Alleged nexus between its personnel and drug peddlers, which came to the light after a suspected trafficker’s calls show his regular contacts with Chandigarh IPS officers, has again put the city police to shame.
Inspector general S.K. Jain Tuesday suspended five policemen, who were accused of taking bribes from the arrested suspect according to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). ‘We immediately suspended the police men, who were accused by NCB in their report,’ senior superintendent of police S.S. Srivastava, ‘Very soon we will start a departmental inquiry,’ he added.
The NCB report alleged that Raju, a postgraduate student at Panjab University, used to bribe and give tipoffs about other drug traffickers active in the region to the accused cops. ‘If they are found involved in any such criminal act then strict disciplinary action will be taken against them,’ said Srivastava. NCB had submitted the report to the Chandigarh police on the basis of statements given by Harpal Singh alias Raju Smacky, who was arrested last month with 3.5 kg of heroin and one kilogram of smack, an NCB official said.
‘We have also traced call details of Raju that depicts his regular contacts with some more Chandigarh police cops and with some elite personalities of the city. But we will disclose it once we have substantial proofs in our hand,’ said the official.
Hemant Goswami, a social activist who filed a petition in The Punjab and Haryana High Court stating that despite having knowledge about links between IPS officers of Chandigarh and Punjab and drug cartel, neither the NCB, nor the police have taken any step to investigate the matter said that, “Not even a gram of Drugs can be sold in Chandigarh without police’s knowledge. Everyone knows that the Police are involved, but still no steps are taken to check the senior IPS officers.”
Hearing the petition, the court issued notices to Chandigarh Police, the Narcotics Control Bureau, the Chandigarh Administration and the Central Bureau of Investigation. The petition stated that Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had revealed that many officers of the Chandigarh and Punjab Police had close association with the drug cartel and that illegal drug trade was being carried out in connivance with the police in the region.
According to NCB, Punjab contributes 75 per cent of the total drug seizures of the country. Recovering addicts at Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting say that the biggest impediment in the de addiction is the easy supply of drugs, “When my father realized that I am addicted to Drugs, he sent me to our ancestral village near Ludhiana, but drugs were available there also. It is actually very amusing because sometimes villagers have trouble finding a doctor but they find drugs easily,” said a NA member. “I don’t know who does the job of supplying drugs but they are easily available in every nook and corner of Punjab” he added.
Rajesh Sharma, President of All India Anti Terrorist Front (AIATF) said, “Each police officer in the city has full knowledge of all the drug suppliers in his area. It is a complex nexus, not just police officers but the entire department knows the workings of each drug dealer but no arrests are made because every body has a cut in the trade.”
NCB Director Saji Mohan refused to comment on police involvement in drugs, he said “It is beyond my preview to comment on this topic. I report to my seniors and not the media.” “This year we have seized over 60 kgs of Heroin along the border. Drugs are easily available in Punjab because it is on the border. With Afghanistan growing over 90 per cent of world’s opium, there is a lot of smuggling across the border especially in Amritsar and Ferozpur.”
According to Goswami, “Every official in the Police Department and NCB knows the people involved, but nobody takes action. I feel that Central Bureau of Investigation should investigate the matter in coordination with other agencies.”