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Two weeks after the new Congress government announced a Special Task Force under IPS officer Harpeet Singh Sidhu to end the drug menace in the state “in four weeks”, the officer took charge Friday after a premature repatriation from CRPF, where he was involved in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh.
How do you see this transition?
I have earlier worked in Punjab. I was on deputation [outside Punjab] for only four years. Before that, I have been SSP of six districts. On drugs, we will be following multi-pronged approach in which we will focus on gaining the crucial support of public.
How big is the challenge against drugs?
For Punjab police, no challenge is too big. This force has fought terrorism and so many challenges since Independence. Amarinder’s government has given a deadline of four weeks. Two weeks have already passed. Do you think it is a realistic deadline? So much work has already been done in these two weeks. A large number of arrests have been made. The police force is activated. From tomorrow, I will be visiting all the districts and interact with police officers.
And, after four weeks, what would be the role of STF?
The idea is to build a sustainable system so that there is no relapse. We will break the back of the smuggling nexus, rehabilitate victims, prevent new people from coming into this. We have a plan.