At least 12 persons have been booked for allegedly assaulting a five-member police team when it sought to arrest a man for drug-peddling at Daulewala village near here on Wednesday. This is the second such reported incident this month from this village, infamous as a haven of the illicit drug trade.
Here’s what happened in the latest instance. The police team from the anti-narcotics cell, led by assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Judge Singh, got a tip-off that Baljit Singh Baba, 45, was openly selling illicit drugs; and it raided his house. Baba, his sons Amarjit Singh and Satnam Singh, and his nephew Harjinder Singh, are already facing drugs-related charges.
“As soon as we reached his house, Baba threw away a drug packet from his hand and ran; but we saw him call someone from his mobile phone,” Judge Singh said, “But we nabbed him.” That’s when at least 12 villagers with sticks and swords came to his defence and overpowered the cops, taking Baba away. The villagers also thrashed the cops and tore the uniform of a constable, Nachhattar Singh.
A panchayat member, seeking anonymity, confirmed the incident, and said Baba and his family were known to be in the drug business.
The police have now booked Baba, his two sons and two nephews, daughter-in-law, among others for assault on government officials and others charges, at the Fatehgarh Panjtoor police station that covers the area.
Earlier, on June 1, a police team from Fatehgarh Panjtoor led by station house officer (SHO) Shiv Chand was overpowered by some villagers in Daulewala when they went to arrest a proclaimed offender, Tirlok Singh, in a drug case. Here too, as soon as the police had taken him into their custody, villagers had started pelting the cops with stones and facilitated his escape.
On May 24, a team of cops from crime investigation agency (CIA) staff too were left embarrassed. They had gone to arrest some men for a robbery at a house at Butter Kalan village, but the gangsters fled in a cop’s car after opening fire. The police had tried to conceal the incident by not mentioning the car-snatching incident in the first information report (FIR).
What happens in Daulewala...
Daulewala village, 17 km from Moga, is notorious for drug-peddling. Even children here have been found involved in the business, say cops pleading anonymity.
“As a large number of the villagers are involved in this business, they oppose the cops whenever they go for a raid,” a police officer said. He claimed more than 10 such incidents had been taken place in a span of three years “when the police have had to return embarrassed from Daulewala”.
At one time around two years ago, police had installed a board at the entrance of the village declaring that it was infamous for drugs; it warned the people entering the village to stay away from drug peddlers. It was removed after villagers complained of stigma.
Asked about the apparent inefficiency of the police, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Moga, Harjit Singh Pannu said, “What could the police do if the whole village comes to the defence of a drug peddler? We will further strengthen the police force.”