The district police late Monday recovered 4 gm heroin from a Toyota Fortuner SUV reportedly owned by Jaswinder Singh Sidhu, an Akali leader and state president of the ETT Teachers’ Union.
Police officials said that Gurpreet Singh, alias Sonu, a resident of Masitan Road in Kot Ise Khan town of the district, has been arrested in this connection. The police have also seized the Toyota Fortuner (PB 10-CT-8199).
It may be mentioned here that Jaswinder Singh Sidhu had unsuccessfully contested the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) election form Dharamkot as a Panthak Morcha candidate.
Before the assembly elections in 2012, he had joined the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and announced him as in-charge of the ‘dharmik wing’ (religious wing) of the SAD from Dharamkot area.
Sukhwinder Singh, assistant sub inspector (ASI), Kot Ise Khan police station, said the police had received a tip-off that a notorious smuggler was going in a Toyota Fortuner to sell heroin near Mahal village in the Dharamkot subdivision.
“As soon as we received the tip-off, a special police team led by Moga CIA staff in-charge inspector Prem Singh Bhnagu put barricades near Mehal village. When the police party tried to stop the Toyota Fortuner, the driver tried to flee from the spot. After a small chase, we nabbed him. During the search we found 4 gram heroin in the car,” said the police official.
When contacted, Jaswinder Singh Sidhu said, “Gurpreet Singh alias Sonu is known to me. He had taken my Toyota Fortuner to attend a marriage ceremony in Ferozepur. When the police arrested Gurpreet Singh with heroin I was attending a political function at the office of the district planning board in Moga.”
Senior police officials have confirmed that the Toyota Furtuner was owned by Jaswinder Singh Sidhu. “A case has been registered against Gurpreet Singh under sections 21-61-85 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act at the Kot Ise Khan police station,” said the ASI.
When contacted, district president of the SAD Teerath Singh Mahla, who is also chairman of the district planning board, said there is no post of ‘dharmik wing’ in the SAD because SGPC is a major body of the Sikhs for tackling religious affairs. “So how it can be possible for nominating Sidhu as in-charge of dharmik wing,” he added.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Jatinder Singh Khaira said further investigations are underway in this connection.