Delhi is fast turning into a “safe haven for drug peddlers and smugglers” and criminals, who have “disappeared” from Punjab and are hiding in neighbouring states, including the national capital, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has claimed. The Punjab chief minister made the claim in a series of letters, written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his counterparts in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
Amarinder Singh also sought their cooperation in controlling the cultivation of plants, used for the production of drugs, in Punjab’s neighborhood and curbing inter-state smuggling of narcotics. According to an official release, Amarinder Singh also urged them to ensure that drug peddlers and smugglers don’t find safe havens in their states.
“As per the available information, Delhi is fast becoming a safe haven for drug peddlers and smugglers,” said the Punjab chief minister in his letter to the Union home minister.
“Since the police of the Union Territory of Delhi is under the direct control and supervision of the Ministry of Home, I seek your indulgence in the matter for directing the Delhi Police to formulate an effective strategy to check and control drug peddling and smuggling,” he added.
Chief Minister Singh urged the Union home minister to ask the Delhi police to work in close coordination with the police of neighbouring states, including that of Punjab, in the endeavour to obliterate the drug menace from the society. These joint efforts, guided by a national policy on prevention and control of drug abuse, would go a long way in securing the future of our next generation, he stressed.
In his letters to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Amarinder Singh said “as per available information, drug peddlers and smugglers have disappeared from Punjab and were hiding in the neighbouring states.”
Apart from smuggling from across the international border, there were reports about smuggling of drugs into Punjab through the neighbouring states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, he said.
The farming of ‘drug-producing’ plants was also a cause of worry for Punjab as a lot of the produce was being smuggled into the state, he added in his letters, according to the official release.
In his letter to the chief ministers, Singh requested them to advise the enforcement agencies, including the police, of their respective states to coordinate with the Punjab police to make joint efforts in curbing the drug menace.
Noting that “drug abuse was seriously threatening the future of our next generation,” the Punjab chief minister said he was committed not to let this happen.
While seeking “cooperation and coordination” among the neighbouring states, he also urged the chief ministers to impress upon the Government of India for a national policy on prevention and control on drug abuse, which, he said, was necessary to regulate and prevent drug menace in the country.
“The Punjab police which is actively chasing the drug peddlers and smugglers, has gathered a lot of intelligence in this regard and can surely share this with the police and other enforcement agencies of your state,” he added.
In his letters to all the four leaders, the Punjab chief minister said his government was aggressively chasing drug peddlers and smugglers to obliterate drugs from the state and making every possible effort to ensure proper and effective treatment of drug addicts with a view to rehabilitating them.
The Punjab government, said Amarinder Singh, was pursuing a three-pronged “EDP strategy” involving strict enforcement of laws, de-addiction and prevention of drug abuse, which has started yielding good results.
For the last few weeks, he said, Punjab has been spearheading a people’s campaign against drugs, resulting in increased footfalls in drug rehabilitation centers and Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Clinics.