Drug smuggler with Hizbul links arrested

CHANDIGARH, MAY 9 (IANS) | Publish Date: 5/9/2020 12:50:40 PM IST

In a major catch, Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta on Saturday said Ranjeet Rana ‘Cheeta’, who was wanted in a 532-kg heroin haul from the Indo-Pakistan border in June last year, has been arrested from Haryana’s Sirsa town. He is one of the biggest drug smugglers of India and was linked to Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo who was killed by security forces in Kashmir two days ago.

“Following up further on arrests of Hizbul operatives in J&K and Punjab, Punjab Police juggernaut moved further to nab Ranjeet of Amritsar, one of the biggest drug smugglers of India from Sirsa today,” Gupta informed in a tweet.

The DGP said Ranjeet Rana and his brother Gagandeep were arrested from Begu village in Sirsa.

Ranjeet is suspected to have smuggled heroin and other drugs from Pakistan, camouflaged in six rock salt consignments through the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at the Attari border, some 30 km from Amritsar, he said.

In the biggest seizure of narcotics coming from Pakistan in recent years, the Customs Department on June 30, 2019, seized 532 kg heroin valued at nearly Rs 2,600 crore from the Attari border.

The heroin was concealed in gunny bags of a rock salt consignment that was coming from Pakistan.

DGP Gupta said he spoke to his Haryana counterpart Manoj Yadav on Friday and thereafter coordination was established.

With more than 10 criminal cases against him, Ranjeet was one of the key links in the network engaged in the smuggling of large number of composite consignments of drugs and illegal weapons through the Indo-Pak border.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh lauded the police for their aggressive operations against terrorists and drug smugglers despite their pre-occupation with the enforcement of curfew and other measures to contain the spread of COVID.

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