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In yet another suspected case of drug death in Punjab, a 29-year-old man was found dead near motor in his fields at village Sawaddi Kalan of Sidhwan Bet in district Ludhiana Friday late. Initially, the police filed inquest proceedings under section 174 of CrPC claiming that family raised no suspicion in their statement and claimed it was a “natural death”. However, local AAP MS Phoolka reached residence of the deceased Saturday afternoon and claimed the family was harassed by the police.
While the police initially claimed no syringe or vial was found from the spot, Phoolka told The Indian Express that a blood-soaked syringe was recovered near the body when he reached there. “The police tried to close the case by filing inquest proceedings. Father of the deceased and other villagers who accompanied him to police station were made to sit there for six hours. Finally, they left it to the police. It was only after I reached that police were called again and we recovered a syringe too,” he said.
“The syringe was empty and soaked in blood. He had already injected himself and died after that. He was treated twice for de-addiction,” said Phoolka.
Reportedly, Kuljit Singh had been an addict for almost three years. He was also admitted to de-addiction centre twice for treatment. However, recently he had started consuming drugs again. On Friday night also, he went to the fields and allegedly injected himself. He died a few minutes later.
He is survived by parents, wife and two small children, a son studying in class 4 and a daughter in class 2. The cremation will be done after his brother’s arrival from Australia.
Meanwhile, Inspector Rajesh Kumar, SHO Sidhwan Bet police station, denied that the family was harassed. “We received information Friday midnight and immediately went to the spot. We took him to Jagraon Civil Hospital but he was declared dead on arrival. Then, the proceedings were started for autopsy. We did not make family sit for six hours at police station. Victim’s father and others who accompanied him did not say anything related to his drug addiction in their initial statement due to which inquest proceedings were filed. Also, no syringe was recovered from spot initially. Now, viscera has been sent for further examination.”
After recording fresh statement of the family, police have registered an FIR against unidentified persons under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC and Sections 21/27/29 of the NDPS Act, the SHO said.
SP (investigation) Jagraon, Rupinder Kumar Bhardwaj, also reached the spot after Phoolka accompanied by Lok Insaaf Party MLA Simarjit Singh Bains reached there.
Bains said that a spoon, a lighter and a piece of foil paper were also recovered from spot apart from a syringe. He said that he also thanked the family for coming out and accepting that their son died to drugs. “It is only if families come out and speak that this government will wake up to the reality of drug deaths in Punjab,” Bains said.