532kg drug haul: Consignment intended to threaten country’s economic security, says NIA

Jagdeep Singh Deep
Inspector general, border range, SPS Parmar displays 7.5 kg heroin worth Rs 37.5 crore seized from a smuggler Shamsher Singh in Amritsar on Friday. Police arrested Shamsher Singh from village Poonga in the district. (Express Photo by Rana Simranjit Singh)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday said smuggling of drugs into India threatens the country s financial security and amounts to a terror act. The NIA made the submission in a special court here while opposing the bail plea of Sandeep Kaur, one of the accused arrested in connection with the recovery of 532 kg heroin worth Rs 2700 crore at the Attari border in June.

The court dismissed the bail plea of Kaur, who alongwith three others – Jasbir Singh, Alok Gupta, and Nirbhail Singh – were produced in the special NIA court Thursday and was sent to judicial custody till October 10.

In its reply filed against the bail application, the agency submitted that the act of the accused in smuggling of narcotics at such huge scale under the cover of import of legal goods from Pakistan proves that the consignment was sent with an intent to threaten the economic security of India and falls under sections 15 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The agency further said that all the accused, including Kaur, were well aware of consequences of narcotic trafficking and drug abuse in India. All the accused knew that trafficking of such huge quantity of heroin will dangerously affect the livelihood security of the people of India and particularly of Punjab.

The agency termed Amritsar as the most affected area in Punjab and said that Maqboolpura in Amritsar was known as village of widows because all the men there have died due to drug abuse. Maqboolpura village is situated close to the International border and it is very easy for the villagers to procure drugs from Pakistan.

The criminal act of the accused very well falls in the definition of Economic Security of UAPA and amounts to be terror act under Section 16 of UAPA, the NIA said in its reply.

The agency said that the present case deals with well established drug cartel of international ramification and involved accused of multiple states of India, which easily creates threat to life of accused Kaur in the event of her release on bail.

The agency also moved an application for taking the other three accused on production warrants. A key accused Gurpinder Singh had died under mysterious circumstances inside Amritsar jail.