The Punjab unit of the Congress has sought an “appropriate” inquiry into media reports quoting Director General of Prisons Shashi Kant saying the State police had failed to check the inflow of drugs into jails.

Speaking on behalf of the party, sitting MLA and party candidate from the Bholath constituency of Kapurthala district, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, said the disclosures made by Mr. Kant vindicated the oft-repeated allegations by the Congress party about a major politician-police-drug mafia nexus under the patronage of the Akali Dal-BJP government.

Mr. Shashi Kant is reported to have said that despite seizure of 721 mobile phones and exchange of related information, the State police failed to check the inflow of drugs into these prisons.

Mr. Khaira said that the officer had pointed a finger directly at the ruling political class for having pressurised the Punjab Police into inaction on the matter. He said that had the police thoroughly investigated the call records of these 721 phones, the politician-police-drug mafia nexus could have been exposed.

The Congress leader said the disclosures made by the DGP were only the tip of the iceberg as drugs not only made their way into prisons but were openly available in every nook and corner of the State.

Recently security forces had raided the residence of a member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), who is known for his proximity to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. A considerable quantity of poppy husk was seized. “Throughout the last five years, the Badal government shielded and patronised the political drug mafia and allowed them a free run in the State,” Mr. Khaira said.

He went on to cite about half-a-dozen instances alleging that the Chief Minister and his son Sukhbir Singh, the Deputy CM, were responsible for politicisation of the police machinery and misusing it for their personal advantage. There were glaring examples where the Badals prevented the police from acting against political criminals, he said.