Olympian Vijender Singh Friday denied any links to a massive drug haul in Punjab even as the police were questioning his room-mate and fellow boxer Ram Singh after the two pugilists were named as "customers” by the NRI allegedly running the racket.
Vijender Singh, who won bronze at 2008 Bejing Olympics, with Ram Singh at NIS, Patiala. Bharat Bhushan/ HT file photo
On Thursday, the Punjab Police recovered 26 kg of heroin worth R130 crore in international market from Canada-based alleged drug smuggler Anoop Singh Kahlon’s house in Zirakpur, 16km from Chandigarh.
Vijender’s wife Archana Singh’s car was found from outside the NRI’s house, who was arrested with an aide, Kulwinder Singh Rocky on March 3. Their questioning has led to drug busts and arrests.
Kahlon, sources alleged, told the police that Vijender and Ram were his customers. “I have no links with Kahlon. I met him on a couple of occasions, but he is not my friend…,” Vijender told HT from Delhi.
Ram, claimed police sources, confessed to buying heroin from Kahlon. They visited Kahlon at Zirakpur a number of times and started “experimenting with heroin” in December, Ram, a head constable with the Punjab Police and Vijender’s room-mate of seven years, allegedly said.
“I have never taken any drugs,” Vijender said. “My car was parked at NIS Patiala and I don't know how it reached Zirakpur,” said the Beijing Games bronze medallist.
The 27-year-old, who is a DSP with the Haryana Police, is training at NIS for the World Championships to be held in October.
“NRI smuggler Kahlon made certain disclosures concerning a few sportsmen, including boxers Vijender Singh and Ram Singh, who is presently being examined,” said Ludhiana Range DIG MF Farooqui.
Questioning of Ram was on at the time of going to the press.
“We're not giving a clean chit nor confirming anything as investigation is on,” the DIG said. “If needed -- Vijender or anybody else -- would be called in for questioning.”
Punjab, which shares borders with Pakistan, is a busy transit point for traffickers who source contraband from Afghanistan to sell it into international market.
Drug addicption is a growing problem in the state as well. On Thursday, the state cabinet approved a cancer and drug addiction treatment fund bill to step up awareness against the menace.