Punjab police catch small fry and slow big fish: rights campaigner

A rights activist has questioned Punjab police intent after cops were seen raiding the homes of small fry on Tuesday, while slowing down a big fish investigation .

As Punjab police have raided homes of disadvantaged people without warrants across the state, an investigation by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) into the role of its DIG-level official in a high-profile NDPS case comes to light at a snail’s pace.

On July 6, Punjab Police arrested Faridkot DSP Lakhvir Singh for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from a drug supplier for not naming the latter in a FIR registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) in Tarn Taran. Lakhvir Singh is still in prison.

The DSP’s arrest came after Tarn Taran Police nabbed a drug dealer, identified as Pishora Singh, near a petrol pump adjacent to Patti Morh and recovered 250 grams of opium and Rs 1 lakh in cash drugs in his possession. This arrest revealed the alleged link between the DSP and the drug trafficker.

Punjab Police Bureau VB Amritsar is investigating the role of former Ferozpur DIG Inderbir Singh in a registered FIR against his Reader Inspector Barjinder Singh and others for accepting a bribe of Rs 23 lakh from an assistant sub-inspector for not implicating him in a drug trafficking case.

At present, Inderbir Singh is assigned as DIG, Administration, PPA, Jalandhar Cantt.

The VB had interviewed DIG Inderbir Singh in this matter. SSP Vigilance Amritsar Varinder Singh said Inderbir is not named or off the radar at this time.

“Our investigation is ongoing. Inderbir Singh has yet to be nominated. SIT is still investigating,” Varinder Singh said. the indian express.

RTI and human rights activist Harmilap Grewal said, “The Punjab Police are not showing any urgency in the case against Inderbir Singh. If he’s guilty, he should be reserved. If not, it should be given a good clean. But the ongoing investigation into this high-profile NDPS case casts doubt on the image and intent of the Punjab police. Furthermore, the Punjab police not only violated the privacy but also damaged the image of hundreds of families who were raided as the videos of these raids were shown on TV channels. What kind of font is this? If the Punjab Police really want to solve the drug trafficking cases, they should speed up the prosecution of the NDPS against the Punjab Police officials.

Police teams searched 250 locations across the state on Tuesday and apprehended 98 people, including three convicted offenders, involved in different crimes. A total of 97 FIRs have been registered in this regard.

Despite these large-scale raids, the police were only able to recover 1 kg of heroin.

Other recoveries included Rs 10.91 lakh of drug money, 158 liters of illicit alcohol, 660 kg of ‘lahan’, 103 kg of poppy shell, 19 kg of ‘bhang’ and 10,460 intoxicating tablets.

“The police can carry out such raids on the basis of secret information. We don’t need warrants for the same. The homes raided were mainly those of history leafters and defendants,” an SSP-level officer said.

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