Quoting a source at his first rally in Amritsar of his recent tour that started Friday, Delhi CM and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal has given a fresh estimated figure of 40 lakh drug addicts in Punjab. There has been controversy over the exact number of drug addicts in Punjab ever since Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi made a statement citing a survey that 70% of youths of Punjab were drug addicts.
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“I had met a person few days back. He has worked on it (drug addicts) and formed an estimate. According to him, 40 lakh youths are drug addicts in Punjab. We will get all these 40 lakh drug addicts treated,” Kejriwal had said on Friday. Mukhtiar Singh of Patti town in Tarn Taran district, who claims to be Kejriwal’s source and is the founder head of ‘Kaffan Bol Peya’ organization, has official record of only 4,94,271 drug addicts treated in different de-addiction centres in 17 districts of Punjab in 2014 and 2015.
Mukhtiar Singh had hit headlines after he wrote a message on the kafan (shroud) of his son, who died of drug addiction, and sent it to PM Narendra Modi to apprise him of the alleged drug problem in Punjab. Since then, Mukhtiar has been working as an activist against drugs.
“I met Kejriwal in Jalandhar on November 25 for 20 minutes. I informed him about RTI reply about 4,94,271 drug addicts and told him I had conducted my own survey in villages and found that only two out of 10 drug addicts had been visiting de-addiction centres. So, I reworked the official data about drug addicts received through the RTI and multiplied this figure by eight. I found there are a total of 39,54,168 youth drug addicts in Punjab. This is a serious problem,” Singh said.