Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Saturday reiterated his demand for a national drug policy to tackle the scourge, saying there’s a need for more synergy between the Special Task Force (STF), the police and the Intelligence wing to eliminate drugs from the State.
Calling for the support of all stakeholders to fight the menace, which he termed a global problem, the Chief Minister said while the neighbouring States of Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi had agreed to put in place an effective mechanism for tackling drug smuggling, no significant progress had been made.
Asserting his government’s zero tolerance to drugs, the Chief Minister attributed the problem to the strong nexus between smugglers, gangsters and terrorists to promote narco-terrorism in the State, as well as Pakistan.
On the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the Chief Minister said most of the drugs, especially heroin, are smuggled into Punjab from Afghanistan via Pakistan bordering States like Haryana, Jammu-Kashmir, Rajasthan, Delhi and even Nepal. He termed it a Pakistan conspiracy to weaken Punjab’s youth and weaning them from armed forces. He cited the instances of drug drops via drones, and seizure of 700 kg of heroin smuggled into Punjab through Kandla port. In addition, several deadly weapons have been smuggled by Pakistan through Uri Sector in J&K, he added.
On the progress made in the fight against drugs, the Chief Minister also said Punjab had successfully got two A category gangsters deported, Sukhpreet Budhha from Armenia in 2019 and Sukh Bhikhariwal from UAE in 2021. Gaurav Patiyal was in the process of being deported from Armenia while Ramanjit Romi, a handler of gangsters, was being brought back from Hong Kong. Further, efforts were on to bring back gangsters Harry Chattha from Portugal and Gagan Hathur from Australia, he said.