Court wants to know why drug charges against Surrey singer have been dropped

VANCOVER DESI

  K.S. Makhan, a popular Punjabi singer/actor, has performed at events associated with the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the Surrey Fusion Fest.


K.S. Makhan, a popular Punjabi singer/actor, has performed at events associated with the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the Surrey Fusion Fest. Submitted photo

A court in India has asked for an explanation why drug charges against a Surrey-based singer/actor have been suddenly dropped.

K.S. Makhan, a popular Punjabi singer/actor who has performed at events associated with the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the Surrey Fusion Fest was originally charged in Punjab, India with two other Canadian citizens in connection with operating a drug pipeline from his homeland to Canada.

As the case dragged on in the notoriously slow Indian judicial system, Makhan was granted bail and then rearrested last year.

Last week, when his case was scheduled to be heard, the Punjab state government ordered police to withdraw charges against the singer.

Now the Punjab High Court has directed the State Government to provide an explanation and produce details of the decision taken by its home affairs department.

The order was made by Punjab chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri based on a public interest petition filed by lawyer H.C. Arora.

Arora told the court that Punjab police had held an inquiry after Makhan was arrested with his associates to ensure the case against them was properly compiled.

He said that the government and police failed to make the proper notifications to have the case withdrawn.

Makhan and two other Canadian citizens, Lakhwinder Singh Lakha and Raja Boparai, were originally charged with receiving heroin from Makhan’s brother Hardeep Singh, a resident of Shankar village in Jalandhar in 2006.

It was alleged that Makhan, Boparai and Lakha used to send money through the hawala route (a system using underground banks) to Hardeep to purchase drugs from smugglers in Jalandhar, Nakodar and Ludhiana in Punjab. The drugs were then shipped back to Canada.

Described as an internationally acclaimed Punjabi superstar, Makhan lately tweeted a thank you note to his fans promising them that he will be touring in the country soon.

Last year Makhan made his film debut in a movie called Pinky Moge Wali.

Makhan’s case comes after the arrest of an Indo-Canadian truck driver in Punjab this month. That investigation has shed light on another international syndicate that has been pumping drugs into Canada and the United States.

Investigators have also allegedly found direct links between the arrested drug smuggler, Anoop Singh Kahlon, who used to live in the Surrey/Delta area before moving back to India. Kahlon is alleged to have been supplying drugs to top Indian athletes including Indian Olympic boxing medalist Vijender Singh, a charge which the latter has refuted.

Kahlon was a truck driver in Canada and attempted suicide in his Indian cell after his arrest.

The RCMP has said that drugs from India, located between two major drug-producing regions, the Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent, have made that country a top source/transit point to Canada.

One RCMP analytical report also identified Indo-Canadian criminal groups as high-level transporters of synthetic drugs and precursor chemicals from Canada to the U.S.

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