Jagdish Bhola, an ex-DSP in the Pujab Police, was sentenced to 12 years of rigorous imprisonment in a multi-crore drugs smuggling case.

The case consisted of seven FIRs registered against 54 accused of which 23 were found guilty, while 31 we acquitted.

Bhola was dismissed in 2004 after he was found in possession of poppy husk. he was again arrested in 2013 for smuggling pseudoephedrine, a synthetic drug from India to other countries.

Six FIRs were filed against him under the NDPS Act in 2013 at Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Mohali. The Arjuna Award-winning international wrestler was on Wednesday sentenced to 12 years in jail in three cases while being acquitted in three others. These cases included 2 years in one case, 12 in another and 10 in the third case. The three sentences will be carried out concurrently, said the court as reported by Indian Express.

File photo of drug lord Jagdish Singh Bhola and his aides being taken away by the police. Credit: India Today

“We are not satisfied with the judgment, it seems that the judgment was delivered to protect Punjab Police,” said Shelly Sharma, counsel for one of the convicts and added that they will challenge the verdict in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Many Pubjab politicians were linked to the racked, with the Enforcement Directorate probing several cases linked to the multi-crore drug racket. Police had estimated the entire racket to be worth approximated Rs 6,000 crore and investigation had revealed that Bhola had amassed properties worth crores.

Various cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act have also been registered against Bhola and several other accused.

This puts a spotlight on the looming drug problem that has haunted Punjab for a long time but is still being largely ignored by mainstream media. It also casts a shadow on the intentions of our political representatives with allegations of their involvement in such rackets becoming more common.

The nexus between the government and these criminal empires have become more organized with set arrangements of profit-share being followed by both parties.

This business-like approach to criminal activities combined with our mainstream media favouring spicier stories has led to such illegal rackets running rampant right under our noses. This arrest is a step in the right direction but there are still many criminal empires running throughout our country with the protection of ruling governments.

Note: This article combines facts with the writer’s opinions.