Bhola sings on SAD leaders

PATIALA (TIP): Revelations by wrestler-turned-drug lord Jagdish Singh alias Bhola are apparently spelling trouble for ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Sources said that interrogation of Bhola has revealed involvement of two Akali leaders of Majha region in the drug cartel of Bhola, including one known in the region for flaunting his over a dozen vehicle bedecked with fancy registration number “0001” and the other for staking claim to fight 2007 assembly elections on SAD ticket. Following revelations by Bhola that both the leaders were supplying precursor drug to the former wrestler to process it into drugs, police on Thursday arrested Jagjit Singh Chahal, a resident of Romana Chack village in Amristar district and Manjinder Singh Aulakh alias Bittu Aulakh of Preet Larhi village of the same district. While Chahal was supplying precursor chemicals to the drug lord through a “go-between person”, Aulakh was operating an independent supply chain of the precursor chemicals for Bhola and was procuring these from the pharmaceutical sector and supplying them to Bhola, police said.

Chahal, who comes from a humble business background and owns a large-scale business of tyres in the region, had shot into limelight around a year-andhalf ago when he purchased the fancy registration number CH-01-AN-0001 for Rs 17 lakh, the highest amount paid so far in the region to get the vanity number. The bid for the number was made at registration and licensing authority, Chandigarh, in June 2012. Flaunting his craze for fancy numbers, he then said that he owned a fleet of 10 luxury cars, all of which had “0001” registration number. He reportedly claimed that he also owned 10 motorcycles, all having registration number “1000” of different series, which are being used by employees working in his firm. On the other hand, Aulakh, who also holds a position in Shiromani Youth Akali Dal, was former sarpanch of Vairokae village and an aspirant SAD (B) candidate from Lopoke assembly constituency during last assembly elections. Aulakh is a prominent hotelier and owns Sanjog Hotel on Court Road in Amritsar. He had also been election campaign incharge of sitting SAD (B) MLA from Ajnala constituency. Interestingly, both the leaders come from fairly respectable backgrounds and were often seen with senior Akali leadership of the state.

“Chahal is normally seen with SAD leaders in his luxury Pajero cars bearing 0001 registration number,” said former Congress MLA from Beas constituency, Jasbir Singh Dimpa. He said Aulakh also had gunmen for his security. “The gunmen were used for the smuggling racket,” alleged Dimpa. Police said Chahal was operating three factories using precursor chemicals — ephedrine and pseudoephedrine — which were diverted illegally from the medicine sector to manufacture synthetic drug ICE. Police added that 2 kg pseudoephedrine (worth Rs 2 crore) and 250 gm ICE (worth Rs 1.25 crore) have been recovered from Chahal and another 2 kg pseudoephedrine (worth Rs 2 crore) has been seized from Aulakh. Police have also uncovered three factories of Chahal — MBP Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Baddi, Montek Bio-Pharma Ltd, Baddi and Tulip Formulations, Damtal, near Pathankot — where he used to process the drugs.

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