|Early Times Report|
Jammu, June 2: Kathua police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested a drug mafia leader, who according to police, had managed to evade arrest for the past three months.
During the press conference, Police made an attempt to pat its back but the only fact which was revealed during the event was arrest of a narcotic smuggler, Harpal Singh alias Balochi of Ward number 14. He was involved in case FIR number 58/2020 U/S 8/15/29 NDPS Act, 3/25 Arms Act and was evading arrest since March 5, 2020. Though the arrest of a kingpin of drug peddlers’ gang is an appreciable work but Police was found hiding certain facts to suit their story given the Covid-19 restrictions as well as following of SOPs.
Police claimed that the arrest was made by the Narcotics cell on a specific input about Balochi, coming on a scooter in Behrian Pattan area. The Behrian Pattan area falls just 2 kilometres from the residence of Balochi along River Ravi, which borders with neighbouring state Punjab.
“Police didn’t reveal that whether Balochi was coming from Punjab side or from Kathua side. As the borders with Punjab have been sealed for the last over two months and it is not possible for any person to cross river Ravi, riding a scooter, so there is every possibility that Balochi had been riding scooter in the limits of Kathua town. How a notorious smuggler could be riding a scooter, when he knew that police is running after him for the last many months”, an official said, adding that the theory propounded by police has many loopholes.
Moreover, the police have not revealed anything about Balochi whereabouts, just before his arrest. Giving an opaque statement, police have claimed in a press statement issued to media, “Balochi was put under surveillance, technical assistance was taken too, which showed that he travelled to lot of places (Punjab, Jammu) and didn’t stay in Kathua town for almost 3 months. The moment he stepped in the town, he was arrested by police. Further investigation is going on”.
It appears that the line, “...didn’t stay in Kathua town for almost 3 months” was very intelligently inserted, so that police would not be questioned for presence of Balochi under their nose in the town. Sources further claimed that even if the story narrated by Police was considered as complete truth, even then the narcotics smuggler, who has a travel history from various areas, should be put into quarantine facility for mandatory period.
“It is still unclear as whether during the arrest of the narcotic smuggler kingpin, safety measures were taken by police personnel or not. Whether protective gear was provided to the police personnel to arrest the accused, whose travel history is not unknown”, an official said.
As per some insiders, Kathua police have actually done a wonderful work and the arrest of the kingpin of drug-peddlers was arrested from somewhere in Punjab. As mentioned in the press release, technical surveillance as well as other channels of intelligence gathering were activated by the police to nab Balochi.
“The location of Balochi was traced somewhere in Punjab and without wasting any time, a police team was dispatched and they successfully nabbed him”, insiders said, adding that but revealing all these information, would put police in a soup due to COVID-19 restrictions as well as following of the SOPs. If police would reveal that Balochi was nabbed from Punjab, then all the team, which had visited Punjab as well as Balochi would be send for administrative quarantine.
“Even if all those police officials, who have met the drug peddler Balochi after his arrest, would also be sent for quarantine period as the first responsibility of police would be to test Balochi, whether he is Covid-19 positive or negative”, insiders said, adding that to save themselves from all these necessary formalities, the police has been hiding maximum details and revealed only few facts and the long history of other involved members of the gang.
“Jeopardizing the health of police personnel during the time, when COVID-19 infections have been increasing at an alarming rate, cannot be justified by senior police officials”, another senior official said, adding that instead of hiding the details, police should reveal every aspect and if required the smuggler as well as police personnel should be sent for administrative quarantine as a precautionary measure