Drug rush in poll season in border state Punjab

Among the northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and UT of Chandigarh, Punjab accounts for nearly 92% of all seizures. (Image for representation)

While the flow of cash ironically is a given in every election, border state Punjab is witnessing a sudden spurt in the flow of drugs, including high priced heroin this poll season. 

Drug addicts galore in Punjab and indications are that the huge seizure of drugs may have been planned for use in polls. The estimated value of drugs and psychotropic substances seized in Punjab after the implementation of the model code of conduct accounts for 77% of all the total estimated seizures in the state.  

Punjab’s Jalandhar district accounts for more drug seizures that states of Haryana, HP and UT Chandigarh put together. 

Among the northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and UT of Chandigarh, Punjab accounts for nearly 92% of all seizures. Data reveals that out of the total nearly Rs 208 crore estimated value of drugs, cash and liquor seized until April 11 in all northern states, a whopping Rs 190 crore of drugs, cash and liquor was confiscated in Punjab alone. 

Chandigarh based political analyst Sanjiv Pandey talking to Deccan Herald said the consumption of drugs, sadly, has remained a part of Punjab’s deteriorating plight, especially of the youth hooked to drugs. The spurt in drug seizures during elections given rise to numerous possibilities of misuse of the electoral process which poses a challenge before the election commission. 

Between March 10 and April 11, an estimated Rs 146 crore of drugs and psychotropic substances were recovered in Punjab from various places. The huge cache of drugs has provided fodder to the opposition which is negating claims of the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab. Capt government has gone to town glorifying its crackdown on major drug supply lines in the state after taking charge in 2017. Data with the government suggests in the last two years until March this year, on an average nearly 40 persons were arrested and a whopping 638 kgs of heroin were seized. 

After Capt took over, there was a time when drug de-addiction centres in Punjab were full of drug addicts. Contrary to Congresses rhetoric of Punjab turned into a ‘safe drug haven’ state, the Capt government intends to showcase a ‘drug-free Punjab in the making’ to voters this time around. But free-flowing drugs and seizures debunk its claims.   

 

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Drug rush in poll season in border state Punjab

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