The State Special Operation Cell (SSOC) of Punjab Police is interrogating arrested NRI Ranjeet Singh, alias Raja Kandola, afresh after “strong clues” that the alleged drug lord, who is lodged in the Kapurthala central jail for more than two years now, has set up a drug cartel inside the jail and is funding terror activities too with the money.
First arrested by the Jalandhar (rural) police in June 2012, Kandola is in jail in a case of recovery of ‘Ice’ party drug worth more than Rs 200 crore. On July 22, he was taken on production warrants from the jail by the SSOC to its headquarters in Amritsar.The SSOC’s swift action came after he was reportedly named by two NRIs arrested by the anti-drug Special Task Force (STF) from Goraya in Jalandhar with heroin on July 19. Both of them, Palwinderjit Singh and Ravinder Singh Ravi, are said to be close aides of Kandola.Amid the buzz that the special cell only wanted to divert the attention of the STF to save police officers allegedly close to Kandola, SSOC assistant inspector general Sukhwinder Mann only confirmed that Kandola is being interrogated and said: “Whenever we will have anything to share, we will share it with the media.” Sources said inspector general of police and SSOC in-charge Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh is personally monitoring the probe.
“Kandola’s role is suspected in some cases of terrorism in Punjab as he has strong links among smugglers across borders, in Pakistan, the UK and the USA. This is a case of immense importance for the state,” said an SSOP officer who refused to be named.Enforcement Directorate (ED) is already probing Kandola’s case since 2013 and has filed two chargesheets.
Sources in the department said Kandola was close to senior police officers; even when cops raided his farmhouse in Samrala in 2012, an SP-rank officer was found residing there. The ED, too, found “strong proof” about “special favours” taken by an IG, a DIG and an SP-rank officer from Kandola, said a senior officer on the condition of anonymity. “This IG was even summoned by the ED; but the matter was buried in files. The investigation could not move in the direction of probing the role of police officers,” a source in the ED said.It may be mentioned here that Kandola was arrested by the then in-charge of Jalandhar rural police’s crime investigation agency (CIA), Inderjeet Singh, who was recently busted in a smuggling case and subsequently dismissed as an inspector.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook