January 22, 2022 5:05:40 am
IN A dramatic turn of events, notorious drug peddler Poonam escaped from the Covid-19 ward at GMSH-16 after jumping through a window Friday. The peddler was later apprehended in Sector 56. She was shifted to the Covid ward situated in the Police Hospital at Police Lines, Sector 26.
The other accused and undertrials who were kept in the Covid ward at GMSH-16 due to their positive reports were also shifted to the Police Hospital, Sector 26, from security point of view. Poonam tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday morning. She along with her accomplice, Sandeep Khattri of Delhi, was arrested Thursday morning with 610.1gm heroin. The Covid ward is situated on the first floor in GMSH-16. She picked a green gown meant for health staff, tied it with the iron grill of a window facing the rear and jumped. She suffered a minor injury to her foot.
Although a woman constable was deputed for a strict vigil on her, she was standing outside the Covid ward because the entry of only positive patients was allowed. Sources said that the woman peddler escaped through the window of Covid-19 ward and other patients raised the alarm. Police personnel at GMSH-16, Sector 17 police station and of the District Crime Cell (DCC), which had arrested her Thursday, alerted and they launched a search operation.
A source said, “Poonam reached Sector 56 using various transport modes, including rickshaw and auto. She was apprehended by the sleuths of District Crime Cell. One of the known persons of the woman peddler was nabbed. There was apprehension that the woman would reach the person. Later, the woman was apprehended from Sector 56.”
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Inspector Narinder Patial, incharge of DCC, said, “Poonam was apprehended within one-and-a-half hour of her escape. She along with other inmates lodged in the Covid ward were shifted to the police hospital, Sector 26. Her accomplice, Sandeep Khatri, was sent to judicial custody at Model Burail Jail. We decided to procure the police custody of both of them after the completion of Poonam’s quarantine time. Their interrogation is required for ascertaining the entire network of drug peddlers in Chandigarh and Delhi. She was reportedly in touch with a Nigerian national, who is believed to be in South Africa. She has been communicating with him through WhatsApp. We will also obtain the bank account details of Poonam for ascertaining the money trail.”
Poonam has a long criminal history. She has been arrested in at least nine cases of drug peddling, thefts, snatching etc. She is among 46 women drug peddlers arrested by the Chandigarh Police in the last five years. Poonam is also among 11 women out of 46, who were arrested for possessing drugs multiple times.
Two other sisters of Poonam have also been arrested in drug peddling cases.
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