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Tribune Special
Secret Police Report
Well-heeled fuelling drug trade in Punjab
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
In what could expose the dirty underbelly of drug trafficking in Punjab, the state police has stumbled upon a shocking and sensitive piece of information. Some of the well-connected, well-established and seemingly well-heeled people in Punjab are suspected to be either part of the murky drug-trail or are sympathisers of the local conduits working for international drug trafficking cartels.

The police has prepared a secret report on the same. Information on the suspected people and their activities have been passed on to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and top echelons of the government, well-placed sources in the Punjab Police confirmed to The Tribune. A recent case has been the recovery of a drug consignment from a car in the Doaba area. The car reportedly belongs to a family member of an elected representative of the state.

The top secret police dossier has mentioned specific names and addresses of the people who are suspected to be “behind the scenes” in the murky business of drugs. It is more than suspicion on these people, said a senior policemen, while adding that suspected harbourers are government servants, elected representatives, established businessmen, small-time politicians, teenaged boys, cops and middle-class women. The suspicion is backed by hardcore information on who all have been the contacts points of arrested smugglers and also on strong and vocal “sifarish” made by politicians when small-time operators are nabbed. Other than the Punjab Police the directorate of revenue intelligence, the narcotics control bureau and the BSF have been nabbing drug carriers with amazing regularity in the past one year or so.

The police has also gathered information on its own men who have been “mute spectators” even when specific information was passed on about the movement of drugs from Rajasthan into Punjab or vice versa. Suspicion on businessmen has strengthened as drug consignments have been found in cloth bales and also in a consignment of cricket bats and balls. Holes had been drilled in bats and balls. The drugs were filled in the holes and sealed. This had come through the land trading route between India and Pakistan at Attari.

Drugs are trafficked into Punjab from Pakistan and Afghanistan, said officials. At times SIM cards of Pakistani cellular operators are also found. The police believes that small packets of 1 to 3 kg are thrown over the electrified “cobra fence” on the border. Pakistani SIM cards are used for close coordination between the two parties on either side of the fence. The river areas where no fence exists is also an entry point.

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