Punjab narcotics case: NCB joins probe

New Delhi/Chandigarh: Joining the Punjab police probe, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has decided to provide legal and other assistance to the local sleuths in the drug haul case in which the name of Olympic medallist boxer Vijender Singh has cropped up.

The anti-narcotics department under the Union Home Ministry has now joined the investigations in the case though it hasn`t registered a separate case and it will provide necessary help in getting leads to the state police by way of clues from informers and secret agents dealing in narcotic drugs, according to sources.

"The NCB will provide all legal assistance to state police which have registered a case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

"Our officials are in touch with the local sleuths probing the case and the legal and prosecution wing is monitoring the case," the sources in the central anti-narcotics agency said.

The NCB has not registered a separate case but sources said that this being an important seizure which has thrown up prominent names like that of Vijender Singh, the agency is doing its "due-diligence".

"The Punjab police is competent to do the job. But NCB being the central repository of drug crimes in the country would be keen to know if there are cross-country syndicates involved in this particular case," the sources added.

Vijender along with others have already been quizzed by the Punjab police and the boxer had earlier denied any wrongdoing after his name was mentioned during interrogation of NRI Anup Singh Kahlon.

The names of Vijender and Ram Singh had emerged after the recovery of 26 kg of heroin worth Rs 130 crore was recovered from Kahlon`s residence in Zirakpur sometime back.

Besides Kahlon six others including his driver Kulwinder Singh alias Rockey, Kuldip Singh (father of Rockey), Sandeep Singh (brother-in-law of Rockey), Gabbar Singh, Manpreet Singh Gill alias Mani and a Ludhiana-based Pharma company employee Sunil Katyal have been arrested in the case.

Meanwhile, Vijender`s attendance record at a training camp held at National Institute of Sports has been sought by Sports Authority of India, source said.

A national camp of boxing was held at NIS in Patiala from January 8 to March 14.

Sources said that the SAI has asked for a record on how many days did Vijender attend the camp in its first round and prepared for the championship and for how many days he was missing from the camp.

The second round of this camp will start on Friday and will end on June 9. This is a training camp for a boxing championship scheduled to be held at Kazakhstan in October.

However, chief boxing coach of the institute, Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu, denied having any information about SAI asking for Vijender`s attendance record.

He said that Vijender had joined the camp at NIS on January 20. After this, he had gone on a leave for Mumbai shooting.

The coach said that Vijender had gone to Mumbai about one week prior to the surfacing of the heroin case.

It is now being expected that once the attendance record of the boxer reaches SAI, it will at its level, put up questions to the boxer about his absence from the camp and this can spell fresh trouble for the boxer.


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