A 25-year-old youth died allegedly of a drug overdose on Friday morning in the Jhumba village in Punjab’s Bathinda district.
“Pala Singh was addicted to synthetic drugs. About four days ago, he had gone to Padampur in Ganganagar district of Rajasthan to work in mustard fields. He returned on Thursday morning,” said his father Balkara Singh, who is in his late forties.
A leader of the Bhartiya Kisan Union-Ugrahan who lives in the same village said Pala had come back from Rajasthan because he did not manage to buy drugs from there. “He arranged the drug in the village on Thursday afternoon. Perhaps he took an overdose and got unwell after that. He was taken to a private hospital, where he died on Friday morning,” said the leader, Jagseer Singh Jhumba.
Pala’s mother Paramjeet Kaur was inconsolable. Her elder son is married while Pala was unmarried. As daily wages are higher in Rajasthan, Pala had gone there to work.
Jhumba said the BKU-Ugrahan and Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union were aware of the availability of drugs in villages. He demanded immediate steps to check the drug menace, adding that the action should not be “a damp squib” like former chief minister Captain Amarinder’s 2017 poll promise, where he had pledged to crack down on drug mafias within six weeks of coming to power.
“This is a serious challenge before the AAP government. They need to work on it soon because people have given them a record mandate. The people have high expectations of them,” said Jhumba.
The BKU-Ugrahan leader also said that parents in the village hesitated to send their children alone to other places for fear they might get drugs.