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A court in Chandigarh sentenced a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and his aide to 13 years in jail in a case of pilfering seized contraband. The IPS officer, Saji Mohan, 44, who was arrested with 12 kg heroin in January 2009 in Mumbai's Oshiwara suburb, was also slapped a fine of Rs.3 lakh by the court. A 1995 cadre IPS officer and a former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director in Chandigarh, Saji Mohan was accused of pilfering contraband, seized from various places in Punjab and Jammu, with the help of his subordinate Balwinder Singh during his tenure in the region.
Balwinder Kumar, a constable with the NCB here and in-charge of the store, was also sentenced to 13 years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.3 lakh. The duo were booked by Chandigarh police in March 2009, subsequent to Saji's arrest by the Mumbai police January that year. Two others, constable Naveen Kumar, Saji Mohan's official security guard, and a farmer from Jammu and Kashmir, Nasib Chand, were also sentenced by the court of additional district and sessions judge Shalini Nagapal. While Nasib Chand was awarded 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of Rs.3 lakh, Naveen was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. All were booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The judgement came nearly four years after they were booked. Saji Mohan has also been booked in another corruption case by Chandigarh police for embezzling Rs.13.81 lakh.
Heroin has impregnated the national consciousness after it emerged that ace boxer Vijender Singh was allegedly linked to a heroin racket and one of his alleged acquaintances was caught with 26 kg of heroin. A former roommate and sparring partner of the boxer, Ram Singh also alleged that Vijender and he had taken heroin for fun.
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