Chandigarh: Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh is under the police scrutiny in the drug haul in Mohali and police said that the interrogation so far establishes no direct link to him but hasn't given him the clean chit either. Twenty six kilograms of heroin worth Rs 130 crore was recovered from a house in Zirakpur, outside Chandigarh.
Police sources, however, said that accused Anup Singh Kahlon in a shocking claim revealed that two of his clients were Olympic medalist and sporting icon Vijender Singh and another boxer Ram Singh. The police have also arrested two more persons in connection with the drug bust and are looking for one Jagdish Bhola who might have fled abroad. Bhola is emerging as the mastermind who moved several consignments of drugs out from India and received Rs 30 lakh for each consignment.
SSP Fatehgarh Sahab Hardyal Mann Singh says the investigations are on. "We have recovered 26 kilograms of heroin from two smugglers. This is worth Rs 130 crore. We are expecting more recoveries in coming days. This is a very big scandal. These NRIs have built an international chain. As of now there is nothing, if we find anything we will inform you."
Suspicions were further aroused when a car belonging to Vijender's wife Archana was found near the premises. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Vijender denied the claims. He said, "These rumours are false. I have nothing to do with these people. I do not know how my name has come up in this matter. I was in Mumbai for some work and had left my car at NIS Patiala. Nothing was found in my car."
The champion boxer later released a statement as well. "I completely deny the allegations. I do not know the person in question and I am not involved with him in anyway. I may have met him but don't know him personally or directly. I am more than willing to co-operate with the police on this and I have nothing to hide. My wife's car being found at the scene is just a coincidence. The person in custody is possibly using my name to mislead the authorities and to malign my name and image. My focus is and has always been on my career," he said in the statement.
Vijender's brother Manoj denied any links. "This is a conspiracy against Vijender. Some personal enmity could be the reason," said Manoj. Ram Singh, a member of the Punjab Police force has been detained and is being questioned. Vijender's associates claim that Singh, a close friend of Vijender would usually drive his car when the boxer was away. With Vijender being a DSP in the Haryana Police, the force has dispatched a top level officer to assist in the investigations.
Reportedly, Punjab is a transit point for drug smugglers and the drugs make way from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Reports say 80 per cent of smuggled drug goes undetected.
Vijender won a bronze medal at 2006 Asian Games in Doha, a bronze at 2008 Beijing Olympics and is the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal. The boxer was also honoured with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and was 2009 top-ranked boxer in middle-weight category. Ram Singh won silver in Junior National Boxing Championship in 2002, bronze medal in Czech Republic Grand Prix in 2007, gold in AK Misra Senior Men Boxing Championship in 2009 and bronze in international meet in Kazakhstan in 2009.