Thursday, Nov 27, 2014

Their sons lost to drugs, these parents join hands to root out menace

Former Punjab DGP (prisons) Shashikant (extreme right) with the affected parents, in Ludhiana on Thursday. (Express Photo: Gurmeet Singh) Former Punjab DGP (prisons) Shashikant (extreme right) with the affected parents, in Ludhiana on Thursday. (Express Photo: Gurmeet Singh)
Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Posted: July 4, 2014 12:25 am

The family of 21-year-old Abhishek Banerjee is shaken as their only son was found dead in his car near SCD Government College on June 22. He had gone for a hair cut on June 21 evening but never returned. Police had claimed that Abhishek had died of a drug overdose.

His father, Dr Ajay Banerjee, while admitting that Abhishek was an addict added that his son had become clean after getting treatment from a Delhi-based de-addiction centre since January this year. He however alleged callousness on part of police, whom, he added, were not dealing with the case properly as they have not tried to locate the drug suppliers. He even alleged that it was a murder and not just death due to overdose.

Dr Banerjee is among parents, who have lost children to drugs, and are now looking to tackle the menace. It’s a similar story for Gurdev Singh Bhatia, whose younger son, 33-year-old Sukhdeep Bhatia, was found dead in a building near the Government College on May 8. He had died of a drug overdose.

He also alleged that police were doing little to reach the root cause of the problem. He was backed by Sunil Sachdeva, whose 21-year-old son Abhinav Sachdeva was found dead in December 2012 near the canal avenue garbage dump on Pakhowal road.

Though the parents of all the boys admitted that their sons were addicts, they however maintained that the boys had become clean a few months before their deaths. They instead alleged that police was not catching the suppliers of drugs who were taking young lives.

Dr Ajay Banerjee, who is still in a state of shock, urged more such parents to join in this cause so that lives of others’ children can be saved. The parents stated that they will form a forum soon as police and the government have not been of much help.
They also sent an open letter to the Punjab DGP demanding that all addiction deaths be made cognisable offences like homicide so that suppliers of the drugs are identified and booked.

Candle-light march

To protest the ‘police inaction,  the parents will be holding a candle light march outside division number 8 police station on Friday evening. The parents of Sukhdeep Bhatia said that their son’s birthday also falls on Friday and hence they will remember him outside the police station. Abhishek would have been 22 on July 13.

 Self investigation:

Banerjee family was not satisfied with police investigations as an FIR under section 174 ( accidental death) has been registered by police. So Ajay Banerjee set out to get the call details of his son’s mobile phone. He claimed that one of his son’s friend from Haibowal and two more were with him the night he died but continued…

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