Punjab police marks anti-drugs day with first-of-its-kind state-wide drug destruction drive
Capt Amarinder says war on drugs will continue till Punjab freed of menace
Ludhiana: In the first-of-its-kind state-wide drive, the Punjab Police on Friday destroyed several quintals of illicit drugs at various places across all the 24 districts, in a symbolic gesture to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The destruction of the drugs came amid Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s assertion that his government would not rest till every single drug smuggler/trader is behind the bars and the drug mafia is completely eliminated from Punjab’s soil and the state is freed from the menace. The Chief Minister declared that while the back of the drugs mafia had been successfully broken, the war was still continuing, with narco-terrorists from across the border continuing to push drugs into Punjab, using drones and other routes.
Giving details of the drugs destroyed today, DGP Dinkar Gupta said teams of Punjab Police took over the task of destroying 62.140 kg of Heroin, along with 326.52 quintals of Poppy Husk, 12.536 kg of Charas, 490 grams of Sulfa, 755.905 Kgs of Smack, 1.970 Kgs of Brown Sugar, 148.280 Kgs of Intoxicant Powder, 137.106 Kgs of Ganja, along with 14,36,410 Pills/Capsules, 9941 Syringes and 1101 Syrup Bottles.
In addition, 41.880 Kgs of Opium was deposited in Government Opium and Alkaloid Factory, disclosed DGP Dinkar Gupta, reiterated the department’s commitment to eliminate drugs from Punjab, which has seen a marked increase in the number of drug users join the state government’s de-addiction programme since the imposition of curfew/lockdown in Punjab.
Around 1.3 lakh drug users have joined the de-addiction programme since March, indicating reduction in the availability of drugs in villages/towns, which had a total of 12 lakh harmful/dependent drug users in the state as per a Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, Survey of 2019, when only 5.41 lakh of the users were undergoing treatment at the private/government de-addiction centres.
The concerted efforts of the Punjab Police, including the Special Task Force (STF), have led to manifold increase in heroin seizure in the state in less than four years – from 207 kg in 2016 to 410 kg (2018), 464 kg in 2019 and 504 kg in 2020.
Cracking down heavily on the drug mafia and traders on the directives of the Chief Minister, the Punjab Police has made a single largest ever record heroin seizure of 504 kgs in 2020, said the DGP, adding that major successes have been notched this year in recovery of drugs and arrests of big fish, including Afghan nationals, this year. This year has also seen the unravelling of some major international narco-terror networks with the arrest of some big fish, said the DGP.
Since the Captain Amarinder government took over in March 2017, a total of180 `big fish’ drug smugglers of heroin have been arrested, with properties worth Rs 118 crore forfeited. Giving details, the DGP said property forfeiture of major drug smugglers has gone up by more than 3 times, since 2017 from, when forfeiture stood at Rs 18 crores, to Rs 58 crores (2020). Property worth Rs. 118 crores has been frozen by the competent authority in this period.
According to the DGP, another Rs 151 crore worth of property forfeiture proposals are pending with the State Finance Ministry for the period between 2017 and 2020. /(June 26)