Beijing Olympic Games bronze-medallist, Vijender Singh's name has cropped up in the 26kg drug haul case. The Punjab Police claimed on Friday that a sports utility vehicle, registered in his wife's name, was found parked outside the flat of a drug dealer, Anup Singh Kahlon, in Zirakpur.
While the star boxer denied any links with the drug peddler, HT spoke to a cross-section of people, including sportspersons, and found that the police were either misrepresenting facts or had committed a mistake in claiming that the Ford Endeavor, belonging to Archana, was recovered from Zirakpur.
How it unfolded
Two sportspersons, Arjuna Awardee boxer Dinesh Kumar and former international Bunty, told HT that they had accompanied Vijender's room-mate, Ram Singh (a top national-level boxer) - who had been called to the Fatehgarh Sahib Police CIA Station for interrogation - on Thursday in the same vehicle the police are claiming was recovered from Zirakpur.
Narrating the sequence of events, Dinesh said, "At around 10:15 am, Ram got a call from the Fatehgarh Sahib Police Station stating that they wanted to investigate him in connection with the arrest of Kahlon."
At around 10:45 am, Ram along with Dinesh left NIS, Patiala for Fatehgarh Sahib, picking up Bunty on the way.
"We reached the police station at around 12.30 pm. While Ram went in, we stayed in the car. At around 1 pm, a few police personnel approached us and asked for the SUV's keys," said Dinesh.
'Keys taken away'
"We resisted and told them that the vehicle belonged to Vijender Singh, the Haryana Police DSP, but they still took the keys away. At around 1.30pm, the CIA staff, along with Ram, came out and said that they had recovered some live bullets from Kahlon and that they were going to Ram's village, Asmanpur in Patiala, for investigation in the SUV.
"After that, we don't know what happened, but they returned around 5:30pm and told us that Ram would stay at the police station. We received the shock of our lives when the next morning, we came to know through media reports that Vijender's SUV had been found outside Kahlon's flat."
"It was Ram who drove the SUV from Patiala to Fatehgarh Sahib and handed over the keys to the police," said Dinesh.
'Call boxer if needed'
Senior superintendent of the Fatehgarh Sahib Police Station, Hardyal Singh Mann, said, "We recovered Vijender's car from near Kahlon's house, but it does not indicate his involvement in the drugs racket. We will call Vijender for questioning, if required."