Pak driver involved in cross LoC drug trafficking denied bail

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, July 31: High Court today declined bail to the driver of the Pakistan vehicle from which drugs  were recovered at Salamabad Trade Centre in Uri four years ago.
In the objections filed by the prosecution, it is stated that on 17.01.2014, a vehicle bearing registration No. RIS-10/2137 driven by a Pakistani national Shafeeq Ahmad Awan crossed over from across the Line of Control towards this part of the State. It was laden with 148 sacks of almonds and Katha, the permissible items of trade as per the agreement between the two countries of India and Pakistan.
The vehicle crossed the Line of Control and reached the Trade Facilitation Centre, Salamabad, Uri. However, on routine inspection of the merchandise, at the said station by the security personnel in observance of the routine procedure, 09 sacks containing 114 packets out of the total consignment were found apparently filled with Brown sugar.
In this regard, a case bearing FIR No. 06/2014 under Section 8/21 (c) read with 29 NDPS Act, was registered at Police station Uri, with which the investigation commenced. During the investigation of the case it came to the fore that , the present accused/applicant, Tariq Ahmad Sheikh, who was otherwise a prominent trader associated with cross LoC trade, having his own registered firm for the purpose, entered into a criminal conspiracy with one Showkat Habib and traders operating from across the Line of Control and one Harjinder Singh @ Happy Singh of Amritsar, Punjab to indulge in illicit transportation of narcotic drugs from across the border to this part of the country.
Prosecution stated before Court that the applicant was fully conversant with the ways and means of the trade, and also with the procedure with which the transported merchandise was being subjected to checking by various authorities at the Trade Facilitation Centre, Salamabad, Uri.
“He made full use of his familiarity and prevailed upon Showkat Habib to permit him to conduct the trading across LoC by using the name of the firm of the later. In this way, the applicant started trafficking narcotic drugs from across the border to this side of the State and to the other parts of the country till such time that he was caught”, read objections of prosecution.
Taking into consideration the quantity of the brown sugar seized in the case, the rigor of Section 37 of the NDPS Act, court said it applies to the instant case in all the fours and the contention of the counsel for the petitioner that the seized contraband was not recovered from the accused is a specious argument and cannot be considered at this stage.