A 24-year-old from Dehradun is facing the death penalty in Malaysia over charges of drug peddling, but his father claims he was the victim of a drug-smuggling racket functioning near the Delhi airport.
Sanjay Chauhan is facing the death penalty in Malaysia over charges of drug peddling. (HT photo)
Sanjay Chauhan is in jail and on trial after getting caught with drugs at the Kuala Lumpur airport. He told his father, Tikam Singh, who visited him recently, that he had been set up.
In May, Singh approached the Delhi Police, who suspect Chauhan may have, without his knowledge, been used as a drug carrier by a gang. They also suspect the gang of trapping at least 12 other young professionals for similar purposes.
Singh told the police he didn’t have the money to fight his son’s case and urged the government to help them.
The police said they were doing their best to bust the ‘racket’ and get an investigation report from their Malaysian counterparts. This, however, required the intervention of the ministry of external affairs.
“We have written a Letters Rogatory (LR) – used to obtain judicial assistance from foreign countries — to the Malaysian government. So far, we have Chauhan’s letter to his father and the father’s version of the case. We are constantly reminding MEA to intervene,” said a senior Delhi Police official.
Sanjay Chauhan's letter - part 2
Sanjay Chauhan's letter- part 3
Chauhan was offered a job last September by a company based at the Delhi airport. “He was sent to Malaysia on September 28, after the family paid the company Rs. 50,000 in two installments,” said Anand Chauhan, the 24-year-old’s uncle.
"He was given a briefcase, to be delivered at the company’s Malaysia office,” the uncle added.
The bag was checked by Chauhan but nothing suspicious was found since the drugs were hidden inside a false cavity in the suitcase, the family said. Nothing was picked up during the baggage screening at Delhi airport either. “We got to know about the drugs when my nephew wrote to us from jail,” said Arjun Singh, Chauhan’s uncle.
In the letter – written in Garhwali language – Chauhan expressed his helplessness. Claiming innocence, he urged his father to arrange for the lawyer’s fee. “We don’t have money to fight the case as the fee for a lawyer is Rs. 8 lakh. We expect the government to help us,” Tikam Singh said.
The police are also trying to identify the gang and find other victims of the ring. “We have interrogated Danish, who was named in the letter. Danish is cooperating with the investigation and had arranged Chauhan’s meeting with the person who sent him to Malaysia. But we haven’t been able to trace the person concerned, whose office was in Mahipalpur,” the police official added.