Sawinder kaur, Chandigarh:

The Punjab Police has busted a Pakistan-sponsored drugs and illegal arms smuggling racket, with the arrest of four persons, including their kingpin – a BSF constable posted in Samba district of J&K.

Foreign made weapons, including a 9 mm Pistol (Zigana make-Made in Turkey), alongwith 80 live cartridges [etched with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) markings], two magazines and two live cartridges of 12 Bore gun, alongwith Rs 32.30 lakh drug proceeds, were recovered from constable Sumit Kumar @ Noni.

According to DGP Punjab, Dinkar Gupta, Constable Sumit Kumar @ Noni, r/o village Magar Mudian Police Station Dorangla, District Gurdaspur, has been apprehended, alongwith three other members, including Simarjit Singh @ Simma, Manpreet Singh and Amanpreet Singh.  A FIR under section 302, 506, 341, 120 B, 212 and 216 of IPC, 25 Arms Act has been registered at Police Station Kartarpur against Amanpreet Singh, Simranjit Singh and Sukhwant Singh, all residents of Dhirpur village, for the murder of one Jagjit Singh.

Giving details, the DGP said Jalandhar (Rural) Police had arrested Amanpreet Singh on July 11 in Jagjit murder case, and during investigation, Amanpreet disclosed that he and his brothers, were in touch with one Shah Musa of Pakistan, for smuggling of narcotics and weapons across the Indo-Pak border.

Amanpreet further revealed that they had came into contact with Shah Musa through Manpreet Singh and a Constable of BSF posted on the J&K border. He said Constable Sumit Kumar had earlier been lodged in Gurdaspur Jail during the trial of a murder case, where he had come in contact with Manpreet Singh s/o Gurbachan Singh r/o Vill Darapur PS Bhaini Mian Khan (Distt Gurdaspur).

Gupta said that the conspiracy to smuggle drugs and weapons from across the border was hatched in Gurdaspur Jail. Manpreet further introduced Amanpreet, Simranjit and Sukhwant to Constable Sumit Kumar.

Armed with these disclosures, Jalandhar Rural Police arrested Simarjeet and Manpreet on July 12, while Constable Sumit Kumar was apprehended in coordination with the BSF, after DGP Punjab took up the matter personally with DG BSF on Saturday (11th July).

The DGP said that Sumit had disclosed his involvement in repeated smuggling of narcotics and weapons from across the border. In the first instance, he is learnt to have facilitated the entry and delivery of 15 packets heroin across the border fence, while in the second instance, he was involved in the influx of 25 packets of heroin and a Zigana 9 mm Pistol over the Border fence on the Indo-Pak border where he was deployed. He kept the Pistol for himself after delivery of heroin to some unidentified persons. Sumit had received a sum of 39 lakh rupees as his compensation for the successful receipt of drugs and weapons consignments and their further delivery in two tranches of 15 lakh rupees and 24 lakh rupees.

The DGP Punjab further said that investigations carried out so far had revealed that after getting bail in the murder case, Constable Sumit Kumar was posted in Samba sector at a Guard Tower overlooking the International border with Pakistan, from where he was constantly in touch with trans-border smugglers Manpreet Singh and Sukhwant Singh. They, in turn, are learnt to have been in contact with Shah Musa in Pakistan.

Detailing the module’s modus operandi, Gupta said that photos of the drug consignments and weapons which were expected to be received from Pakistan were being sent to Constable Sumit Kumar by Manpreet Singh and Sukhwant Singh on his mobile phone. On the other hand, Sumit used to send photographs of border fencing, screenshots of his location, Border Pillar number and details of the villages surrounding the area to trans-border smugglers/associates, who in turn used to share the delivery coordinates with the Pakistani smugglers.

DGP said that subsequently, on a pre-decided date and time of delivery of consignment, a condut was sent by Pakistani smugglers, usually in the afternoon, to conduct of reconnaissance of the location and to establish visual contact with Sumit Kumar. He said that then, on the same night, the Pakistani smugglers used to come at the pre-decided place during the shift duty of Constable Sumit Kumar, and after getting the green signal from Sumit in the form of flashing of torch light, use to throw the drug/weapons consignment over the border fence. Sumit would later collect the consignment and hide it in nearby bushes for subsequent retrieval and delivery.

Gupta said that subsequently, during his next shift, which was invariably  from 9 am to 12 noon the following day, Sumit used to handover the consignment, from around 50 meters from his guard towers on the directions of his associates.