While the state government has been claiming of making efforts to eradicate drug addiction from Punjab, the police are torpedoing the initiative.
The Moga police have come under scanner for giving clean chit to an accused, who was declared a proclaimed offender in two cases of drug peddling and attempt to murder registered at Mehna police station of Moga.
"Ignoring" the fact that the accused, Bachittar Singh of Hirdewala village of Jagraon, was a fugitive in the two cases and it was compulsory to arrest him in both cases if he appeared before the police, he was let off around six months ago
The matter came to light after Bachittar, along with his accomplice Angrej Singh of Dolewal village of Jagraon, was arrested by the Ludhiana police after heroin worth `1.35 crore and sedative pills were recovered from him on January 20.
When the police investigated about his criminal record, the officers concerned were shocked to find that he had been let off by the Moga police in a drug peddling case registered against him in Moga, even as he was declared a fugitive in two cases registered in the same police station.
Trainee IPS officer Ketan Baliram Patil, the then assistant superintendent of police (ASP), had registered a case of drug peddling in Mehna police station on June 24, 2012, against Bachittar, Nishan Singh of Dolewala village of Jagraon and his unidentified accomplices. The police had recovered around 35kg poppy husk, while the accused had managed to flee from the spot.
Earlier, the same police station had registered a case of attempt to murder against Bachittar on April 18, 2012, after he allegedly tried to mow down the police officers in his attempt to escape from a checkpoint.
As he was at large, Bachittar was declared proclaimed offender in both the case. Besides, another case of drug peddling was also registered against the accused in another station at Moga, and he was declared a fugitive in that case also.
However, after he fell in the police net, the Moga police stating that Bachittar had been found innocent in the drug peddling case, let him off, while totally overlooking the fact that he was declared a PO in the case. Worse, they didn't arrest him for the attempt to murder case, which was registered before the drug peddling case.
Now, the Ludhiana police have sent a report to Moga Police for further action, while the accused is lodged in Ludhiana Central Jail under judicial custody.
Moga senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kanwaljit Singh said he was not aware about the case as he had joined recently, but he would look into the matter.