The government feels that the detention of drug smugglers without registration of a case is an appropriate way to ebb drug smuggling. Besides, it would also address the problem of drug paddlers getting bail on technical grounds.
A list of at least 50 drug smugglers, who might face action under provisions of the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, has been made by the police. Top officials of Special Task Force (STF) and the Home Department have already consulted Punjab Advocate General AS Nanda on the issue. An advisory board is also likely to be constituted to take the proposal forward.
Border state Punjab is ill-famed for drug abuse. Drug addicts form a sizable chunk of the youth population grappling with the menace. Punjab accounts for very high incidents of drug, especially the high-priced heroin, being confiscated from its bounds.
The STF intends to target drug smugglers placed in the ‘A+ category’, which includes habitual offender drug smugglers who were nabbed with heroin ranging from 250 grams up to 2 kgs in weight. According to the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking (PIT NDPS) Act, the police may detain habitual drug paddlers.
Punjab now has a new STF chief, DGP Mohammad Mustafa, considered close to the incumbent dispensation. His wife is a Punjab Congress MLA from Malerkotla. After taking over reigns of his new assignment, this would be the new STF chief’s major blow to the war on drugs. The issue of drug menace has remained central to the political discourse in Punjab for some time now. Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had announced that Punjab would be free from the clutches of drug menace in 4-weeks after coming to power. That has not happened, but significant progress has been made to stem the rot that exists.