Patiala/Chandigarh: Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh's roommate and sparring partner Ram Singh was on Sunday expelled from the National Institute of Sports after admitting that he consumed drugs with the star boxer, who may soon be questioned by the police. (Agencies)
Serving as a head constable with Punjab Police, Ram, a former National Championship medallist in the super heavyweight category, told reporters in Fatehgarh Sahib that he and Vijender experimented with drugs on a few occasions.
The admission came after he was grilled by the police. Ram, who is being daily quizzed, and Vijender's name cropped up during the investigation into the recovery of Rs 130 crore worth of heroin in Zirakpur on Thursday.
The 27-year-old Vijender, a DSP with Haryana Police, has steadfastly denied involvement in the scandal but has not reacted to Ram's fresh claims so far.
Police sources said that Vijender is likely to be called for questioning on the basis of statements made by Ram as also alleged drug peddler, NRI Anup Singh Kahlon.
When asked whether Vijender was being summoned, Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Hardyal Singh Mann did not give a clear answer saying, "At the moment the priority is to zero in on four-five persons actively involved in the drug trade," he told PTI.
Their names have emerged based on the interrogation of Kahlon and five others arrested in the case, he said.
Meanwhile, a factory belonging to relatives of an Arjuna awardee wrestler was on Sunday searched by Punjab police in a village in Fatehgarh Sahib.
A senior police officer said two persons have been rounded up and were being interrogated. The officer said police is conducting raids to arrest wrestler Jagdish Bhola, a dismissed DSP of Punjab Police, who is the alleged kingpin of a gang recently busted by police with the arrest of Kahlon.
Executive Director of NIS LS Ranawat confirmed Ram's expulsion in Patiala. "Ram will be relieved from the camp here from tomorrow," said Ranawat, adding that Vijender would continue to remain in the camp.
Asked about Ram's presence in the national camp, he said the boxer was not in the original list and was included only on Vijender's recommendation.
Ram told the police that Kahlon had first given him about two grams of heroin in December last year without charging money. Ram said that he and Vijender consumed the drug during a drive from Chandigarh to NIS.
Ram, during the interrogation, had said since then that the he and Vijender "consumed small quantities of drug" on a few occasions, given to them by Kahlon. Kahlon had attempted suicide in police custody yesterday.
"I and Vijender experimented with drugs thinking that they were food supplements. We did not know that we were taking drugs. We were told that we were consuming a food supplement meant to increase strength and stamina," Ram said.
An SUV registered in the name of Vijender's wife, Archana, was found by the police near the flat where Kahlon and his driver were arrested during the drugs recovery.
Despite the claims made by Ram, Vijender is unlikely to be tested by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
Sources in the NADA told that Vijender's case was a matter to be investigated by the police and the anti-doping agency has no role in this.
"It's basically a police and narcotics case and the NADA is not in the scene," a top NADA source said.
Vijender, a former world number one, gave India its first Olympic medal in boxing when he clinched a bronze in the 2008 Beijing Games. Besides, he is an Asian Games gold-medallist and a multiple-time Commonwealth Games medallist.
Considered the poster boy of Indian boxing, Vijender has stated that he does not know the alleged drug peddler caught by the police.
An NRI of Canadian origin, Kahlon is allegedly known internationally in the drug cartel.
Patiala/Chandigarh: Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh's roommate and sparring partner Ram Singh was on Sunday expelled from the National Institute of Sports after admitting that he consumed drugs with the star boxer, who may soon be questioned by the police.