194-kg heroin haul: Cong councillor’s son took ₹1.5 lakh for stashing drugs at Amritsar house: STF
Sahil Sharma, whose father Pardeep Sharma is Congress councilor from ward number 52, had surrendered in an Amritsar court on March 2, over a month after remaining underground.Updated: Mar 11, 2020 21:48 IST
The son of a Congress councillor from Amritsar took ₹1.5 lakh for storing a consignment of heroin, which was later seized from an Akali leader’s house, at his family residence on Majitha road in the city for a month, the Punjab Police’s anti-drug special task force (STF) claimed to have found in its probe.
Sahil Sharma, whose father Pardeep Sharma is Congress councilor from ward number 52, had surrendered in an Amritsar court on March 2, over a month after remaining underground.
The STF on January 31 recovered 194-kg heroin from local Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Anwar Masih’s house that was purportedly taken on rent by the accused in the Sultanwind area of Amritsar. The racket members had allegedly even set up a laboratory in the house to refine the heroin and increase its volume by using chemicals, the task force had said.
A senior STF official said, “Sahil came in contact with Sukhbir Singh, one of the key accused in the case, at a wedding function. Sukhbir later sought his help in hiding the contraband and paid him ₹1.5 lakh in three installments.”
“Sahil also transported the contraband in his car to Masih’s house after it was kept in his Majitha Road residence. He is still being questioned. More revelations are expected,” he added.
Sahil’s father Pardeep joined the probe after the STF issued him a notice in February. Pardeep claimed the house no more belonged to him as he gave it to his wife five years ago after they got divorced. He also claimed to have no link with his son.
Sahil is in STF custody till March 14.
After the recovery, the STF had sent a contraband sample to the food and drug testing laboratory, Khara, Amritsar. “We have received the report that says the sample contained 100% pure heroin,” said STF assistant inspector general (AIG) Rashpal Singh.
Extradition process of
kingpin Sandhu begins
AIG Rashpal said they have initiated the process of extraditing the racket kingpin, Simranjit Singh Sandhu of Amritsar and an Australian passport holder. Sandhu was detained in Italy on the basis of a red-corner notice issued by the Interpol on the request of Gujarat’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS).
“Our investigation is almost complete. We will file the chargesheet in court soon. We have also initiated the process of formalities for sending the case to the central government to get Sandhu extradited,” he said.
Sandhu is wanted by the Gujarat ATS in the smuggling of 300kg heroin that was allegedly offloaded at Mandavi in the state before being transported to Punjab in truckloads of cumin in 2018.
Earlier, an STF official had said the racket members had already smuggled 700 kg heroin to Punjab.
Recently, the Gujarat police arrested Karim Muhammad, Sunil and Rajak, all residents of the western state, in the case. “The three were arrested for transporting heroin to Punjab. We have already filled an application in court seeking their production warrant,” AIG Rashpal said.