Shimla police arrested a government officer and four others for illegal drug trade near Shoghi, 15 km from the capital town, on Sunday night. The accused have been identified as Mahinder Kumar, regional manager of Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC), Solan; Kangra residents Vikas Kumar and Rajiv, Solan resident Daulat Ram, and J&K resident Gyassuddin.
On a tip off, police intercepted the official vehicle of Mahinder coming from Solan towards Shimla. While checking his vehicle, police recovered 4.4kg ‘chitta’ (a colloquial for heroin), a police officer said.
Investigation suggested that the Gyassuddin brought the substance from Jammu and Kashmir, and sold it to the regional manager of HRTC. He was going to sell it to another party for Rs 30 lakh, it is alleged. “There were five packets and Rs 6 lakh for each was decided as the price,” investigators claimed.
It is also suspected that the manager misused his official vehicle for smuggling drugs earlier too.
Shimla superintendent of police (SP) DW Negi said police may arrest more people in the case as the investigation has just begun. A case has been registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
Transport Minister GS Bali, while addressing a press conference, said the HRTC RM has been suspended. Bali ordered departmental probe against him too. “He was earlier too suspended in some other case and reinstated in 2008,” Bali said, adding, “This incident has tarnished the image of the HRTC.”