Kingpin cremated, kin allege he was framed

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 22

Amritsar-based importer and prime accused in the 532-kg heroin haul Gurpinder Singh Babbar, who died under mysterious circumstances in jail, was cremated today.

The family of the deceased was not ready to accept the theory of the jail authorities that he died due to his deteriorating health conditions.

Earlier, a designated panel of doctors — Dr Kuldeep Singh, Dr Jatinder Pal Singh, Dr Ravi Tejpal and Dr Suneel Bhardwaj — conducted the post-mortem in the presence of civil judge Ambika Sharma at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital.

His younger brother Parminder Singh Babbar, who was also behind the bars in the same case, also attended the cremation.

Inconsolable mother Kanwaljit Kaur reiterated that his sons were made a scapegoat to conceal the truth. “My one son became the victim of stage-managed death and I am worried the younger one may not meet the same fate,” she said.

“It is true that the consignment was imported from Pakistan on Gurpinder’s import licence, but he never had any inkling about drugs concealed in it,” she said.

Parminder worked with a cloth merchant on a paltry sum of Rs 6,000 per month and had nothing to do with this newly set up import-export business of Gurpinder. “He had just helped depositing money in Tariq’s account at Batala bank branch and had produced his Aadhar card for identification and got trapped,” she said.

She admitted that Gurpinder (29) suffered from diabetes, but alleged that his health condition was overlooked in jail. “Three days ago, I met him at Gharinda police station. He told me that he did not hide anything from the investigating officials and that both the brothers would come out clean. He appeared to be quite hale and hearty. How his condition worsened all of a sudden that he could not survive?” she said.

Denying allegations, Jail Superintendent Arshdeep Singh Gill said the exact cause of death would be revealed in the post-mortem report. “It will take at least two to three months as the chemical viscera has been sent to the Kharar lab to detect the cause of death,” he said.

He claimed that Gurpinder’s sugar count was between 400 and 500 when he was admitted to jail dispensary on July 1. The very next day, he was admitted to the GNDH. “The GNDH doctor in his report also mentioned him to be asthmatic. Our jail doctors took extra care of him. I, myself, ensured that his injections must be kept in an icebox under his cot. On June 21, his BP and sugar were normal, but the next morning he started throwing up and thereafter his condition went out of control and he was referred to the GNDH,” he said.

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