Kabaddi player alleges Punjab Police pushed him into drugs
Kabaddi player Amritpal Singh ‘Matta’, who was recently suspended by the Punjab Police, has alleged that it was the maltreatment he received at PAP, Jalandhar, that pushed him into depression and doing drugs.Matta, who represented various clubs in USA, Canada, Dubai and England in circle style kabaddi from 2001 to 2007, was suspended on charges of drug abuse and for being absent from duty for the last few months.Matta said he started doing drugs immediately after joining Punjab Police as a constable in 2008.Matta alleged that though he was a renowned player, he was asked to do menial jobs during his training period. “I had to serve drinks and food at parties, cut the grass inside the PAP complex. This pushed me into depression,” said Matta.He also alleged that he was not allowed to participate in international tournaments. “At one time, PAP authorities didn’t extend my leave and called me back a day before the starting of a tournament in New York,” said Matta.Matta also claimed to have first bought drugs inside the PAP campus. “Drugs are easily available inside the PAP campus. I used to buy it from my colleagues who used to get it from an agent at Rama Mandi. We used to consume drugs during night shifts inside the PAP campus,” said Matta.He added that the authorities refused to grant him leave on compassionate grounds to get treated at a de-addiction centre. “While I am getting treatment here, the authorities have suspended me for being absent,” he said.Matta said that despite having won three gold and two silver medals in the National Police Games, he has not got any promotion.Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Surinder Singh Kalia said that it was mandatory for every player to complete the training to get a promotion.Matta said that he couldn’t even complete his induction training due to his dwindling health.Kalia also refuted Matta’s charges of maltreatment by senior officials and the availability of drugs inside the PAP campus. “Since he was caught taking drugs and later failed to join duty, he has been suspended,” said Kalia.