19 June, 2021

Gloves & Veins

A big haul of heroin, two famous boxers...the Punjab drug story is not going away

Gloves & Veins

Drug seizures in India are rarely front-page news, and ’70s hippie favourite heroin has perhaps even fallen off the radar with the Narcotics Control Bureau in India. So a seizure of 26 kg of the drug by the Punjab police last fortnight would have been just a couple of inc­hes in the inside pages if— the ‘big if’ had come true—it hadn’t been for the names of Vijender Singh, Oly­m­pic bronze med­a­l­list and poster boy of Indian boxing, and his coach-cum-sparring partner Ram Singh cropping up in connection with the drug-runners.

Once their names were taken, the national media was naturally all over the story. Suddenly, the Punjab drug story was dusted and rerun. Wasn’t it, after all, “the new transit point” for the international drug trade? Reams of print and TV footage was devoted to the fact that the porous Indo-Pak border has bec­ome a favoured route for smuggling drugs in from Pakistan and Afghanistan for new millennium drug syndicates.

The pugmarks of ex-cop and...

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