A Canada-based NRI arrested in a major drug haul attempted suicide on Saturday but was "out of danger", even as police probed his alleged links with Olympic medallist boxer Vijender Singh and carried out raids to nab an ex-DSP, said to be the kingpin of the gang.
"The key accused Anup Singh Kahlon attempted suicide. He took out a wire from the bucket used for bathing and tried to slit his wrist with it, but he is out of danger," Fatehgarh Sahib's Senior Superintendent of Police H S Mann said.
The accused was safe and provided medical aid, the SSP said, adding that no major injury was sustained in the suicide attempt. Kahlon has been booked under section 309 of the IPC for attempting suicide.
Punjab Police began the process of scrutinising phone call details of Kahlon to probe if Vijender Singh and his friend and sparring partner, Ram Singh, a national level boxer, had in the past been in touch with him.
Ram Singh, who had joined the investigations yesterday, was summoned by the Fatehgarh Sahib police today, but Mann refused to divulge details or whether Vijender Singh would also be grilled.
Asked if Vijender Singh, who hails from Bhiwani district and is a Haryana Police DSP rank officer, would be questioned, the SSP said, "we haven't taken any final decision on this yet. We haven't concluded anything yet in this regard.
"We are scrutinising the phone call details of Kahlon of past one or two months to see if he was in touch with Vijender and Ram Singh," Mann said. Vijender, 27, had trashed as "ridiculous" allegations that he has links with the alleged NRI drug deale and claimed they would be proved wrong in investigations.
Police said teams have been sent to different locations to nab wrestler Jagdish Bhola, a former Punjab police cop, named by Kahlon as the kingpin of the gang.
Raids were being conducted at his suspected hideouts, they said.
Bhola, an Arjun awardee, was recruited in 1993 in Bathinda district and later he was made an inspector following his achievements in wrestling. He came into limelight when he was named for the Arjuna Award and also won the title of 'Rustum-e-Hind'.
Bhola was also given the rank of DSP.
However, he was first booked for smuggling contraband in 2001 and was declared a proclaimed offender. In January, 2002 Bathinda police registered a case under various sections of the NDPS Act against Bhola for his alleged involvement in drug smuggling. He was also dismissed from service.
Asked about reports that Ram, a native of Patiala, purportedly confessed before the police that he had taken heroin at least six times from the arrested peddlers and consumed it with Vijender, the SSP said, "we are verifying these. I cannot comment further at this stage.... All angles were being probed."
Police had recovered 26 kg of heroin, worth an estimated Rs 130 crore, from Kahlon's house in Shivalik Vihar in Zirakpur on the city outskirts in Mohali district on Thursday. The SUV, registered in Vijender's wife Archana's name, was found by police near the NRI's house.
Mann said investigation in the case was under progress and the six accused were being interrogated.
"We are working hard at the case. We are working round-the-clock going into the depth of the case. Whenever there is something substantial to say, we will make it public," he said.
Police of neighbouring Haryana is also keeping an eye on the progress of the case after the name of its DSP Vijender Singh cropped up.
Haryana DGP S N Vashisht told reporters that they were in touch with their Punjab counterparts after the boxer's name cropped up in the case.
"We will decide on further course of action once we get complete details of the case from the Punjab Police," the Haryana DGP said.
Ludhiana Range DIG M F Faooqui, who also holds charge of Patiala Range, in a statement earlier had said that NRI Anoop Singh Kahlon "made certain disclosures concerning a few sportsmen, including boxers Vijender Singh and Ram Singh, which are presently being examined".
So far, Punjab Police has nabbed six persons in connection with the drug haul and had got their remand till March 13.
The six arrested persons are Canada-based Kahlon, his driver Kulwinder Singh Rockey, the driver's father Kuldeep Singh, the driver's brother-in-law Sandeep Singh, Manpreet Singh Gill alias Mani and Gabbar Singh.
The Ludhiana Range DIG had clarified that the NRI during his interrogation said he did not know Vijender directly, but had heard about him through Ram Singh.