The charges of drug smuggling and extortion laid against assistant superintendent of police (jails) Karamjit Singh Bhullar are based on the inputs of nine prisoners in Kapurthala.
The allegations came out in an inquiry by deputy inspector general (prisons), after which the local police had made a case against the ASP about smuggling drugs into the jail and extorting money from inmates by torturing them.
Three months ago, when the Kapurthala police had interrogated drug peddler Lakhi Bhullar in a case of substance supply to jails, he had named the ASP as his accomplice.
Based on the peddler's input, Kapurthala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Ashish Choudhary sent a report to additional deputy general of police (prisons) RP Meena, who assigned the inquiry to DIG (prisons) LS Jakhar. The DIG met nine inmates during his visit to the jail on July 19 and ordered a case against the ASP, who had been suspended on July 16 after the SSP's report.
Ravi Shankar, a prisoner since 2012, told the DIG that Bhullar tortured him to extort money, while Sukhdev Singh Bhaddo, jailed since 2008, said he was eyewitness to Karamjit's selling drugs in the jail. "The ASP used to take drugs to prisoners Rakesh Pandit, Harvinder Jammu Baba and Lakhi Bhullar for selling inside the jail, and they would bring him the money," Bhaddo has claimed in the report.
However, a letter procured by Hindustan Times has raised question mark on the inquiry. Written by the jail superintendent, it suggests that Karamjit is barred from the jail since January 28, 2015. "The jail authorities have framed me for exposing their involvement in purchasing grocery items for the canteen from a single private mart without floating any tender," said ASP Karamjit.
The SSP said the case was based on the DIG's inquiry report, which is about drug supply and extortion that happened before the ASP had been barred from the jail. "The local police have only contributed the interrogation report of Lakhi Bhullar and the DIG has conducted the further inquiry. More proofs are being gathered," he said.
The ASP has been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act; the Prevention of Corruption Act; and Sections 384 (extortion) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).