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  India   All India  10 Apr 2017  Drug use dips by 20 per cent in Punjab

Drug use dips by 20 per cent in Punjab

THE ASIAN AGE. | RAJNISH SHARMA
Published : Apr 10, 2017, 2:49 am IST
Updated : Apr 10, 2017, 2:49 am IST

After new govt takes charge, cops target key smuggling gangs.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (Photo: PTI)
 Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: A change of regime in Punjab seems to be having a positive impact on the state’s infamous drug menace as there has been a sharp drop in availability and consumption of narcotics, particularly in rural areas along the border with Pakistan.

The drug menace was one of the biggest issues during Punjab Assembly elections held in February this year and during campaigning now chief minister Capt. Amarinder Singh had promised to launch a major offensive against it, if voted to power.

 

Top sources in the state police said that they have been closely monitoring the narcotic trade in the state and there has already been “almost a 20-25 per cent drop”  in consumption of Chitta (a locally manufactured synthetic drug) in rural areas. Malwa and Majha the two areas worst hit by consumption of Chitta have already reported a sharp drop in consumption of narcotics.

Within days of assuming charge last month, Capt. Amarinder Singh had sent out a terse message to the state police, saying that drug menace has to be curbed at any cost. A major offensive subsequently launched by the local police seems to be giving positive results. Areas including Gurdaspur, Taran Taran, Attari, Fatehgarh Chu-rian and Kartarpur have already reported a sharp decline in consumption of Chitta.

 

As part of its strategy to deal with the drug crisis the state, the Amarinder governme-nt, in first phase, is focusing on major crac-kdown on gangs invol-ved in manufacturing and distribution of dr-ugs. In the second pha-se, the government pla-ns a major rehabilitation scheme for the yo-uth addicted to drugs.

“We had identified some important gangs particularly in Majha and Malwa region which were involved in narcotic smuggling. As a major offensive has been launched against them most of them are now on the run due to which there is a sharp drop in supply of Chitta and it is no longer available. There is strict enforcement in regions of Malwa and Majha and in les than a month there has been a drop of 20 to 25 per cent. We are hopeful that in the next two months the entire state would be rid of this menace,” a senior police official said.

 

Encouraged by the success of the sustained campaign launched by the local police, the state government is now closely monitoring the supply of narcotics from across the border from Pakistan. With Punjab being a border state it has emerged as a major transit point for narcotic smuggling from Pakistan.

Sources said the state government will soon approach the Centre with a comprehensive plan to further enha-nce patrolling along the border and completely seal it to check any possibility of drugs coming in from the other side. Strict enforcement, police sources added, both within the state and along the border will completely check supply of narcotics in Punjab.

 

“Since BSF, which is the border guarding force, is directly under the control of the home ministry, we will soon seek the Centre’s help to ensure that the border becomes completely foolproof. While Punjab Police has already launched a major offensive we would need the Centre’s support to ensure that supply on narcotics from Pakistan is also completely stopped,’’ the official added.

Tags: amarinder singh, punjab assembly elections, drug
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi