100 cases, 20 years in jail, but bootlegger won’t call it quits

Septuagenarian Paro Bai’s entire family is booked under NDPS and Excise Acts

100 cases, 20 years in jail, but bootlegger won’t call it quits

Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, January 23

Paro Bai, 75, a resident of Sukhera Bodla village, allegedly entered liquor and drug trade after her marriage to Bara Singh, a bootlegger, 52 years ago. She has been booked in 100 cases under the NDPS and Excise Acts and has served jail sentences for 20 years, the fear of law clearly failing to be any deterrent. Arrested two months ago with 8 kg of poppy husk, she was let out two days ago.

Talking to The Tribune, she insisted she had quit the trade several years ago. But Fazilka SSP Bhupinder Singh said the police were determined to prepare a water-tight case against Paro Bai and her family.

Lekh Raj Batti, Jalalabad SHO, who has been investigating various cases involving Paro Bai’s family, said Bara Singh and Paro Bai had eloped to get married. “They continued with the illegal trade even while raising their son Chan Singh and daughter Surjit Kaur, alias Channo.”

Paro Bai got Channo engaged with her bootlegger companion Sona Singh of Sukhera Bodla village, but decided to marry him instead. A widow, she was 45 years old then. The couple had two sons and two daughters. One of the daughters, Parmjit Kaur, was arrested with 6,000 sedative tablets last week.

Parmjit’s sibling Raju was caught carrying 180 tablets on Wednesday. He too has been booked.

Paro Bai’s son Chan Singh from her first marriage has been into the drug trade for more than 10 years. Booked in five cases, he was recently released from the Central Jail in Ferozepur after serving a 10-year sentence.

Chan Singh’s wife Nirmala faces action under the NDPS Act. She was caught with 3,200 intoxicating tablets in Jalalabad on January 22. Convicted under the NDPS Act, Paro Bai’s grandson Lakhwinder, alias Sonu, is serving sentence in the Ferozepur Central jail. Paro Bai’s son-in-law Surjit Singh, who is married to Channo, is facing trial in two NDPS cases.

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