In another revelation in the `6,000-crore synthetic drugs smuggling case, one of the accused, Rajinder Singh Mintu, has told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) during interrogation that the alleged kingpin, dismissed Punjab police deputy superintendent of police, Jagdish Bhola, had close links with former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) MPS Aulakh. Aulakh retired as DGP (Prisons) on August 31, 2005.
In the latest challan submitted by the ED in the Patiala district court on March 5, Mintu, who used to work as a drug-delivery man for Bhola, has stated that Bhola was known to Aulakh.
“Bhola was a frequent visitor to residence of Aulakh, who wanted to sell 25 acres of disputed land in Zirakpur through Bhola,” the challan records Mintu as saying.
“Bhola used to take Canada-based drug-receivers to Aulakh’s residence to strike the deal for this controversial piece of land,” Mintu has told the ED, claiming that Bhola had purchased a generator for Aulakh in 2008 at a cost of `3.5 lakh.
The statement also adds that Bhola used to sell drugs to Sukraj Raja, a Surrey (Canada) resident, and close relative of former cabinet minister Swaran Singh Phillaur. Phillaur was then quizzed by the ED and was asked to resign by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Mintu had also claimed that Bhola supplied drugs to Sarabjit Singh Nikku and Sukhraj Singh — a relative of minister Phillaur, Soni, all residents of Surrey. Two residents of Toronto, Canada — Jewan and Avtar Singh Koneer — were also named. “Bhola has also built a house in Surrey,” Mintu has told the ED.
When contacted, Aulakh denied that he had any connection with the drug case.
“I don’t deny that Bhola is known to me. I knew him as a Arjuna Awardee wrestler and had asked him to support one of my uncles, who contested the assembly election from Talwandi Sabo in 2007 and 2012. Before his arrest in the drug racket, I did not know that he was into such kind of activity. I was shocked at his arrest,” said Aulakh.
“One thing is clear. I have no business or real estate dealing with Bhola,” he added, claiming that he did not know any Mintu, the man whose interrogation is part of the ED challan.
WHO IS MINTU?
Rajinder singh Mintu, an associate of Jagdish Bhola, and an accused in the synthetic drug smuggling case, used to work as a courier for drug delivery for Bhola. He had been arrested by the Patiala Police and interrogated by the ED. Mintu was among four people, who had killed an ASI outside the Haveli Restaurant, Jalandhar. In his statement to the ED, Mintu claims to have been lured by Bhola, when he (Bhola) was working in a film, ‘Rustam-e-Hind’, being produced by Bobby Beniwal. “Bhola promised to take me to Canada and I fell into the trap,” he says in the ED statement.