To draw attention to Punjab drug addiction, parents rally with son’s body

They sat on dharna with the body when police officials refused to accept a memorandum for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, written on a piece of cloth placed on his body.

Written by KAMALDEEP SINGH BRAR | Amritsar | Published:March 27, 2016 4:03 am
drug 759 Manpreet Singh Manna, 27, died Saturday

The parents of a 27-year-old “drug addict” who died Saturday took his body out in a procession at Patti village in Tarn Taran district to draw attention to the problem of drug addiction in the state, they said.

They sat on dharna with the body when police officials refused to accept a memorandum for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, written on a piece of cloth placed on his body.

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The police later accepted the cloth and said they would first verify the cause of the man’s death before deciding what to do with the memorandum.

When Mukhtiar Singh’s 12-year-long battle to save his son, Manjit Singh Manna, from his addiction ended with his death, he, his family and friends decided to mark the day with a strong message against drugs.

They carried Manjit’s body in a procession through the village. Some of them also held placards with slogans against drugs and addiction.

The father, a government employee in Punjab State Corporation Limited, is also mandal president of Technical Employees’ Union, wrote a memorandum to the Prime Minister on one of the shrouds covering the body.

He tried to submit it to the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Patti, D S Sandhu, who first asked him to write the memorandum on paper.

“Lakhs of youth of Punjab have died due to drug addiction. My son has also become its victim. I have been sending this memorandum to you via administration, hoping that other youths of the state would be saved from drug addiction,” the memorandum read.

“It was a painful decision. All these years were painful. It is not easy to see your son dying every day in front of your eyes. I do not want any other father or mother to see this day. So I decided to demonstrate the body of my son in the streets of town so that every youth can see it and they can get what drug addiction do to you,” Mukhtiar Singh had written.

He told The Indian Express that he had tried everything to keep his son out of trouble, but in vain. “We knew he would not live for long,” he said.

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