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Monday, January 17, 2022

FIR against Majithia is neither about chitta nor drug addiction in Punjab

This submission of Punjab Police in the FIR also indicates that the future course in the investigation aims at illegal sand mining in the state and what kind of alleged role Majithia could have had into it.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
December 24, 2021 7:59:17 am
Majithia’s house in Amritsar. Express photo

“Punjab government committed to completely eradicating the menace of drugs. Stern action is being initiated against the drug trafficking.” This is what a Punjab government advertisement with picture of CM Charanjit Singh Channi claimed a day after senior SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia was booked under the NDPS Act.

While the political narrative in Punjab has been about involvement of police-politician nexus in helping smuggle narcotic substances, mainly heroin, into Punjab through the international border with Pakistan, the FIR against Majithia describes a nexus involved in procuring of raw material to manufacture party drug ICE to be smuggled to Canada.

The FIR talks about a nexus which was procuring in Punjab a substance called Pseudoephe- drine, which is used in making ICE that is not a popular drug in Punjab. The drug was meant for trafficking in Canada, said sources in the Punjab Police. Interestingly, the FIR nowhere mentions chitta being sold and consumed in Punjab.

When asked why this FIR only focused on Pseudoephedrine being smuggled to Canada and has no mention about drug problem within Punjab, Navkiran Singh, advocate representing Lawyers for Human Rights International, whose petition regarding drug problem in Punjab finds mention in the FIR against Majithia, said, “This is just an initial step and investigation can lead to trade of other drugs in Punjab as well.”

The FIR, meanwhile, reads: “Statement of accused Maninder Singh Aulakh in case FIR 56 dated 15.05.2013 PS Banur police reads: ‘…in the year 2009 this Satvir Singh introduced me to Parminder Singh @ Pindi uncle, an NRI settled in Canada, who asked me to introduce him to a person of medicine line to enable export of veterinary medicine for dogs…I introduced him to Jagjit Singh Chahal, who had a pharmaceutical factory named Montek Pharma. Pindi uncle mentioned a medicine (dawai) for which Jagjit Singh Chahal asked the formula. Later, Pindi uncle told me that he has told Jagjit Singh Chahal the formula and deal for Rs 60 lakh was done and a second deal of Rs 70 lakh was done… the sample of one consignment of 50 kg of Pseudoephedrine did not pass. The sample was rechecked by Jagjit Singh Chahal and it failed thereafter the part of money from second deal was returned to Pindi uncle. In October 2010, he visited me along with Jagdish Singh Bhola Pehalwan and asked me to return the remaining amount to Laddi…I adjusted the remaining amount of 10 lakh against money owed to him by Satpreet Singh Satta.”

It further adds: “It is submitted that the statements of those questioned indicate that some of those involved in these offences are residing abroad, some of the drug consignment were transported abroad and some funds have also been allegedly received abroad. Therefore, thorough investigation of the matter would necessarily require expertise in technical and financial matters and also adequate capacity of the investigation agency to conduct aspects of the investigation abroad.”

Focus on illegal mining
This submission of Punjab Police in the FIR also indicates that the future course in the investigation aims at illegal sand mining in the state and what kind of alleged role Majithia could have had into it.

The FIR adds, “Jagjit Singh Chahal (who had a pharmaceutical factory named Montek Pharma) has stated that Bikram Singh Majithia was involved in the sand mining business with Maninder Singh Aulakh @ Bittu Aulakh and Bonny Amarpal Ajnala, (former) MLA, Ajnala. Whereas, Maninder Singh Aulakh @ Bittu Aulakh has stated that Bikram Singh Majithia was involved in the sand mining business alongwith Kanwarjit Singh @ Rosy Barkandi (Sitting MLA) resident of Muktsar.Even so, the legality of Bikram Singh Majithia allegedly indulging in the sand mining business while being a minister in the Punjab government from 2007 onwards is a significant issue and needs to be verified through investigation. Hence, from the point
of view of present enquiry, it is necessary to examine the relationship between funds related to the alleged sand mining business and funds allegedly received by Bikram Singh Majithia, Maninder Singh Aulakh @Bittu Aulakh and others from individuals involved in drug related offences.”

However, so far there has been no indication in the FIR that investigation can lean towards drug problems of the state.

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