Pb: Amarinder's war on drugs leads to 485 arrests, 387 cases

Pb: Amarinder's war on drugs leads to 485 arrests, 387 cases

Pb: Amarinder's war on drugs leads to 485 arrests, 387 cases
485 drugs peddlers and traders have been arrested, 387 cases registered under the NDPS Act, 3.945 kg of heroin and 622.555 kg of poppy husk recovered in Punjab since March 16, when the Amarinder Singh led government assumed office. Drug menace was a major issue in the Punjab elections and immediately after taking over, the Amarinder led Congress government has ordered a multi-agency crack-down.

SHO level teams, backed by Anti-Narcotics Cell units, have been formed in every district to wipe out drugs from the state in four weeks, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said here today. "As many as 485 drugs traders and peddlers have been arrested and 387 cases registered under the NDPS Act..," he said.

State Special Operations (SSOP) cells have also joined the drive, which has led to major drugs seizures across the state, said the spokesperson adding that the civil administration was also extending its full support to the anti-drugs campaign.

The Chief Minister has directed the state agencies to coordinate with central agencies like the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Customs Department to check the supply and smuggling of drugs.

A Special Task Force (STF) has already been set up to steer the special and focused drive launched against drugs, especially 'chitta' (heroin, synthetic/ pharmaceutical drugs), the spokesperson said.

Giving more details, he said that in the period between March 16 and March 27, a total of 3.945 kgs of heroin was recovered during raids. This includes 1 kg of Heroin seized by the BSF, he said.

Other drugs seizures made during this period include poppy husk (622.555 kgs), smack (0.528 kgs), 'charas' (2.22 kgs), opium (24.39 kgs), 'bhang' (1.879 kgs) and 'ganja' (65.6 kgs).

The special teams have also recovered 133 bottles of syrup, 1075 injections and 90,993 capsules or pills packed with drugs, besides 11.224 kg of Intoxicant Powder during the period, he said.

"The maximum of 63 cases have been registered in Jalandhar Rural district, from where the maximum recovery of 7.25 kgs of opium, besides 1 kg recovery of heroin by BSF, has also been reported," he said. The Congress had before the elections promised to wipe out the scourge within four weeks of forming the government.

The Jalandhar police has launched its own helpline number and has appealed to the public to come forward with information on drugs smuggling and supply. All police stations have been directed to make lists of drug peddlers and bootleggers with more than two FIRs registered against them in the past 10 years and these people will be kept under surveillance, the spokesperson said.

The Chief Minister's Office has been requested to attach one drugs inspector permanently with the Commissionerate to help in the conduct of raids to check misuse of authorised medicines in Jalandhar, he said.

"The Special Task Force (STF) set up for drugs eradication in the state is working directly under the supervision of the Chief Minister, who has given a free hand to ADGP Harpreet Sidhu, who heads the STF, to take any action needed to free the state of this menace," he said.

"Capt Amarinder Singh has directed the police, whose performance will be judged on the efficacy of the anti-drugs campaign, to go after the big guns. The special teams set up to implement the drive have been directed to seize/attach properties of smugglers under Section 68 of the NDPS Act and Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act," he added.

Seminars and educational programmes in schools and colleges, along with 'nukkad nataks' and road shows/rallies, are being conducted to create awareness about the drugs menace while the deaddiction centres, which had allegedly become defunct under the previous government, are being reactivated, he said.

"A holistic approach has been adopted to synergise the deaddiction and rehabilitation activities. A massive publicity and awareness campaign is also being launched on various media platforms, with educational institutions, NGOs, youth clubs and Nehru Yuva Kendras joining the government efforts to wipe out the drugs scourge from the state," he added. 

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