Vijender Singh's Friend to Cops: Did Get Drugs
Olympic medalist boxer Vijender Singh's friend and sparring partner Ram Singh claimed that the duo "consumed small quantities of drug" on a few occasions, which was given to them by NRI Anup Singh Kahlon, key accused in a heroin haul case, who attempted suicide under police custody today.
Punjab Police sources said that Ram Singh had told the police during his questioning that Vijender, who is currently employed as DSP with the Haryana Police, and he had consumed 1-3 grams of heroin given to them by Kahlon, the key accused currently under arrest.
The sources said that Ram Singh had told them that he had met Kahlon in the past but feigned ignorance about his criminal connections.
Ram told the Fatehgarh Sahib Police that Kahlon had first given him about 2 grams of heroin in December last year without charging money.
After that, between January 1 and February 26 this year, he and Vijender had consumed the drug on 2-3 occasions.
He also said that the first time Vijender had taken the contraband when the duo were driving from Chandigarh to National Institute of Sports in Patiala.
Ram Singh told the police that Vijender took the drug because he wanted to know why the former had vomited and what substance he had used. Ram has maintained that neither he nor Vijender was habitual drug user and that their consumption of the drug was an "experiment".
He also told the police that he and Vijender had not participated in any competitive event after consumption.
When contacted, Fatehgarh Sahib SSP, H S Mann declined to comment on the confessions made by Ram Singh and said all angels were being probed.
Kahlon, arrested in the Rs 130 crore drug haul case, attempted suicide today but was "out of danger", even as police probed his alleged links with Vijender and carried out raids to nab an ex-DSP, said to be the kingpin of the gang.
"The key accused Anup Singh Kahlon attempted suicide. He took out a wire from the bucket used for bathing and tried to slit his wrist with it, but he is out of danger," Mann said.
Punjab Police today began the process of scrutinising phone call details of Kahlon to probe if Vijender and his friend, Ram Singh, a national level boxer, had in the past been in touch with him.
Ram Singh, who had joined the investigations yesterday, was summoned by the Fatehgarh Sahib Police today, but Mann refused to divulge whether Vijender would also be grilled.
Asked if Vijender, who hails from Bhiwani district and is a Haryana Police DSP rank officer, would be questioned, the SSP said, "We haven't taken any final decision on this yet. We haven't concluded anything yet in this regard.
"We are scrutinising the phone call details of Kahlon of past one or two months to see if he was in touch with Vijender and Ram Singh," Mann said.
Vijender, 27, had trashed as "ridiculous" allegations that he has links with the alleged NRI drug deal and claimed they would be proved wrong in investigations.
Police said teams have been sent to different locations to nab wrestler Jagdish Bhola, a former Punjab police cop, named by Kahlon as the kingpin of the gang.
Bhola, an Arjun awardee, was recruited in 1993 in Bathinda district and later he was made an inspector following his achievements in wrestling. He came into limelight when he was named for the Arjuna Award and also won the title of 'Rustum-e-Hind'.
Bhola was also given the rank of DSP.
However, he was first booked for smuggling contraband in 2001 and was declared a proclaimed offender. In January, 2002 Bathinda police registered a case under various sections of the NDPS Act against Bhola for his alleged involvement in drug smuggling. He was also dismissed from service.
Police had recovered 26 kg of heroin, worth an estimated Rs 130 crore, from Kahlon's house in Shivalik Vihar in Zirakpur on the city outskirts in Mohali district on Thursday. The SUV, registered in Vijender's wife Archana's name, was found by police near the NRI's house.
Ram Singh also told the police that he used to keep the SUV with him sometimes when asked to do so by Vijender.
Mann said investigation in the case was under progress and the six accused were being interrogated.
Police of neighbouring Haryana is also keeping an eye on the progress of the case after the name of its DSP Vijender Singh cropped up.
Haryana DGP S N Vashisht told reporters that they were in touch with their Punjab counterparts after the boxer's name cropped up in the case.
"We will decide on further course of action once we get complete details of the case from the Punjab Police," the DGP said.
Meanwhile, Vijender's brother Manoj Kumar today said that he smelt a "conspiracy" at the boxer's name being linked in the drug haul case.
"It's a conspiracy to defame him. He will come out clean as he has never even touched any drug," Kumar said.
Senior Indian National Lok Dal leader from Haryana, Abhay Singh Chautala said that if the allegations against Vijender were right, then it will be an "unfortunate thing for the Indian sports. But if the allegations are wrong, even then the damage done will be difficult to reverse".
Ludhiana Range DIG M F Faooqui, who also holds charge of Patiala Range, in a statement earlier had said that NRI Kahlon "made certain disclosures concerning a few sportsmen, including boxers Vijender and Ram Singh, which are presently being examined".
So far, Punjab Police has nabbed six persons in connection with the drug haul and had got their remand till March 13.
The six arrested persons are Canada-based Kahlon, his driver Kulwinder Singh Rockey, the driver's father Kuldeep Singh, the driver's brother-in-law Sandeep Singh, Manpreet Singh Gill alias Mani and Gabbar Singh.
Meanwhile, Punjab Police personnel carried out searches at the National Institute of Sports hostel rooms of Vijender and Ram Singh at Patiala today, police sources said.
When asked about media reports, which claimed that Vijender had made calls to NRI Kahlon during the past one month, a senior police official said late tonight, "We are looking into the call details and cannot divulge things at this time."
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