Anti-drug campaign: Punjab police arrest 19000 smugglers in 14 months


Punjab’s decisive war against drugs and to root out the menace of drugs has completed 14 months and state Police have arrested as many as 19,093 drug smugglers including 2,778 big fish since July last year. The Police have registered a total of 14,179 first information reports (FIRs) of which 1,717 are related to commercial quantities.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Headquarters Sukhchain Singh Gill, addressed a Press Conference on Monday and said that the Police teams have recovered 1400.77 Kg Heroin from across the state after carrying out cordon and search operations in drug-affected areas besides laying nakas at vulnerable routes across the state. Additionally, 147.5-Kg heroin was recovered by the teams of Punjab Police from Seaports of Gujarat and Maharashtra, taking the total effective recovery of heroin to 1548.27 kg in just 14 months, he said. “Police teams have recovered around 240Kg heroin from across the state just in the month of August,” he added. Apart from seizing big-haul of heroin, the IGP said that Police have also recovered 871.82-Kg opium, 446.30 quintals of poppy husk, and 90.59 lakhs tablets/capsules/injections/vials of Pharma opioids from across the state. The Police have also recovered Rs 13.96 crores of drug money from the possession of drug smugglers arrested in the span of the last 14 months. To completely eradicate the menace of drugs from the state as committed by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, IGP Sukhchain Singh Gill said that Punjab Police under the leadership of Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav have enforced a three-pronged strategy— enforcement by Police, public contact programme and demand reduction. He said that under the enforcement part, CPs/SSPs have been asked to launch all-out operations against street peddlers and suppliers to make a dent in the supply of drugs at cutting-edge level in mohallas and villages. As part of this strategy, consumers— caught with a few grams of heroin or narcotic powder— will be treated as victims and section 64A of the NDPS Act will be enforced to provide them with an opportunity to get themselves treated and avail immunity from prosecution through the court, he added. He said that special focus is being given to pharmaceutical drugs. “There will be district-specific or Police Station specific plan against drugs under which Police teams will hold meetings in all the villages and mohallas to sensitise people about the ill effects of the drugs,” he said while briefing about the public contact programme part.
School Children, College students and NGOs will be roped in to organise awareness activities including rallies, workshops, seminars, runs, cycle rallies, etc. To reduce the demand, he said that the Police will involve District Administrations, and the Health, Education and Sports departments to identify consumers and rehabilitate them.