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Singh Bros Sons - Gurbani and Class A Drugs

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Oldest publishing house in news again

Owner’s two sons detained for sending heroin in packets of devotional material

Varinder Walia

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 11

In a joint raid, senior officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Customs today took into custody Rabjeet Singh and Prabhjeet Singh, sons of one of the owners of M/s Chattar Singh-Jeewan Singh, 133-year-old publishing house, one of its employees and four others on the charges of sending heroin to Canada through a private courier.

About 5 kg of heroin, concealed in packets of CDs/DVDs of Gurbani, was seized by the DRI near Phagwara last evening. Joint director of the DRI Dheeraj Rastogi said out of total 48 packets, the heroin was found concealed in three packets. In all 11 bundles of devotional material (having 48 packets) were booked through the private courier, DHL.

Sources said the seizure of the contraband might be a tip of the iceberg because many publishing houses had been sending devotional material to foreign countries, especially Canada, the US and the UK, for the past many years.

The team of the DRI and Customs swooped on the premises of five-storey ultra-modern complex of the publishing house, its CJ Hotel near Golden Temple and the house of the owner simultaneously. However, they failed to recover any contraband despite six-hour search.

One of the owners, Harbhajan Singh, however, alleged that there was a “deep-rooted conspiracy†to defame the oldest publishing house of Guru Granth Sahib. He said the firm would fully cooperate with the Intelligence sleuths. He claimed that one Phagwara-based person “Vickey†had been taken into custody by the DRI earlier.

Meanwhile, SGPC president Avtar Singh has sought immediate excommunication of the owners of the firm.

The house continued to publish the Birs of Guru Granth Sahib despite the edict of then Jathedar of Akal Takht Bhai Ranjit Singh that the SGPC had the sole right to publish Guru Granth Sahib in 1998. Later, the SGPC had directed it to stop the publication of Guru Granth Sahib in 2006 as per the directive.

The publishers are confidants of a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti. It is learnt that photo copies of the passports of Prithipal Singh Sandhu, personal assistant to the former Jathedar, and members of his family were seized during the raid.

Earlier, on October 5 last year, activists of the Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee had picked up the two brothers from the publishing house and blackened their faces in full public view.

Both brothers, Baljit Singh and Prabhjit Singh (arrested by the DRI today) had been freed from their captivity on the intervention of Giani Gurbachan Singh, the then head granthi of the Golden Temple and senior police officers.

The incident had forced the government to issue an ordinance banning private publishers from printing Guru Granth Sahib.

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