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Punjab police officer, a famed 'specialist' of drug busts, arrested

A senior police officer in Punjab who led many drug busts and was a famed "specialist" has been arrested after a large cashe of narcotics, arms and cash was seized from his home yesterday.

Inderjit Singh was arrested and taken away by a team of policemen last night, handcuffed and a blue cloth masking his face.

Large bundles were carried out of his home in Phagwara, around 100 km from Chandigarh. Around 3 kg of smack, 4 kg of heroin, an Italian-make pistol, an AK 47 rifle and around 400 live cartridges including those of AK 47s were found at his house in Jalandhar's police lines. Over 16 lakhs cash was also found, besides around 3,500 pounds.

Singh had an impressive record of drug busts at every posting. It turned out to be too good to be true, the Special Task Force learnt during raids at the police officer's home in Phagwara.

He claimed almost 100 per cent success in his raids, but curiously, almost all the accused got away because of so-called holes in the case.

"Singh's service record showed a sudden spurt in contraband seizures wherever he was posted," said Special Task Force Chief Harpreet Sidhu, whose team arrested Singh.

Investigations revealed that Singh took bribes to help the accused walk free, said Sidhu.

He was allegedly exposed when officers started analyzing over a dozen "recoveries" when he was posted in Tarn Taran for 14 months. It emerged that no matter how big the drug bust - as high as 19 kg in one case- all the accused were eventually freed by the court.

"We saw a pattern. Most of the accused were acquitted, mostly because the police officer was not competent enough to investigate the case. It happened repeatedly," Sidhu said.

The suspicion was confirmed during raids that began early Monday morning.

Singh was charged and produced in a court around 10 pm. He has been sent to custody till June 19.