A drug peddler, who had also been declared a proclaimed offender (PO), was arrested by the anti-drug Special Task Force (STF) of Punjab Police with 260 gm heroin on Friday. The accused was in touch with some big peddlers supplying drugs in Punjab, Delhi and elsewhere in the country after getting the stuff from Pakistan.
STF Superintendent of Police Rajinder Singh Sohal told Chandigarh Newsline that the accused was identified as Pritpal Singh alias Bitta alias Ganja. The accused was first arrested in 2005 with 10 kg heroin by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). He was also convicted for 15 years in the case but after undergoing seven years’ imprisonment, Pritpal jumped parole in 2012.
“Pritpal was again arrested by a team of counter-intelligence in 2015 with 3 kg heroin and Rs 22 lakh cash and sent to Kapurthala jail. Since he had some problem in his right eye following which he needed medical help, Pritpal was sent to a hospital in Majitha from where he fled the same year,” Sohal said.
The SP further stated that during interrogation, Pritpal revealed that he began peddling drugs in 2004 with his brother-in-law till his arrest in 2005. Pritpal told STF that after jumping parole in 2012, he was back to peddling drugs with Harpreet Singh Chintu, a notorious peddler. “Pritpal met Chintu in jail. Chintu had close links with Pakistan-based drug peddlers. After jumping parole in 2012, Pritpal worked with Chintu till 2015. During that period, Pritpal used to bring drugs from Amritsar, Pathankot and Ferozepur borders and supply them in Delhi and Chandigarh,” added Sohal.
The SP also said that Pritpal used to conceal the drugs under a gas cylinder to hide it from the police and go to Delhi to supply to a Nigerian resident.
Pritpal also told the STF that after fleeing from the hospital in Majitha while serving police remand, he went to Nepal with the help of a woman accomplice Neesa who lived in Jalandhar. He said Neesa made arrangements for his stay in a village on the Indo-Nepal border where he lived under an assumed name.
“Pritpal changed his name to Manjeet Singh and also got an Aadhar card from Bihar. He stayed there till 2017 when Neesa grabbed some property belonging to Pritpal in Jalandhar but both still remained in touch. From Nepal, Pritpal came to Ropar, where he stayed for the last one year. He was in touch with Chintu and Neesa and he even managed to get a driving licence with his fake Aadhaar card issued from Jalandhar,” Sohal added.