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Posted at: Dec 8, 2017, 1:49 AM; last updated: Dec 8, 2017, 1:49 AM (IST)

Eight nabbed with 72-kg poppy husk

Main supplier a J&K cop; smugglers used cars specially designed to conceal drugs
Eight nabbed with 72-kg poppy husk
The drug peddlers with the seized contraband at Jagraon on Thursday. Tribune photo

Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 7

The police have arrested eight drug peddlers, including one from Jammu and Kashmir, and seized 72 kg of poppy husk from them. The man from Jammu and Kashmir was the main supplier of poppy husk to drug peddlers in Punjab.

Earlier, drug peddlers of Punjab smuggled poppy husk from Rajasthan. But following a ban on poppy husk contracts in Rajasthan, they started trafficking the contraband from Jammu and Kashmir.

The suspects have been identified as Mohammad Rafiq, a resident of Badgam district in Kashmir; Sukhchain Singh of Hans Kalan village, near Jagraon; Rajbeer Singh, alias Kukku, of Rajoana Kalan village, near Sudhar; Harpal Singh, alias Pala, of Burj Hari Singh village, near Raikot; Parmodh Kumar, alias Parvani, of Rurka village, near Dakha; Jaspreet Singh, alias Lovely, of Rurka village; and Gurmit Singh, alias Geeta. The police have also seized 5 pistols from them.

Jagraon SSP Surjit Singh said Mohammad Rafiq, who is employed with the Jammu and Kashmir police, was the main supplier of poppy husk to drug peddlers in Punjab. “In August, we arrested Amninder Singh of Amargarh Kaler village along with 35 kg of poppy husk. During his interrogation, the police learnt that he bought the drug from Mohammad Rafiq of Kashmir. Mohammad Rafiq was arrested yesterday when he had come to collect the payment against the said consignment. The police also recovered 10 kg of poppy husk on the basis of revelation made by Mohammad Rafiq,” said the SSP.

Mohammad Rafiq disclosed that he had contacts with around 12 drug peddlers in Punjab who bought poppy husk from him. “Following this, an alert was sounded in the district and a search operation was launched. The police arrested seven more drug peddlers and seized 62 kg of poppy husk from different locations,” he said.

The police have also confiscated six cars of the arrested drug peddlers. These vehicles have especially made space in the boots to hide drugs. “We have also arrested the mechanic who had designed the secret space in the boots of the cars. He was also involved in drug peddling,” added the SSP.

The police have registered separate cases under the NDPS Act and Arms Act and further investigation is on. The police are trying to find out whether Mohammad Rafiq has links with anti-national elements.

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