Punjab CM Amarinder Singh proposes joint operations on inter-state borders to tackle drug menace

The Punjab CM unveiled a detailed strategy and action plan for the eradication of the scourge, for consideration and implementation by all the participating states.

Published: 25th July 2019 04:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2019 04:55 PM   |  A+A-

Amarinder singh, ashok gehlot, manohar lal khattar

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh​ with his counterparts during 'Second Regional Conference on Drug Menace – Challenges & Strategies' (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Expressing concern over the spread of narco-terrorism by Pakistan through various states, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday proposed joint operations on the inter-state borders, as part of a series of collaborative measures to tackle the drugs menace.

In his opening remarks at the ‘Second Regional Conference on Drug Menace – Challenges & Strategies’ here, he unveiled a detailed strategy and action plan for the eradication of the scourge, for consideration and implementation by all the participating states.

The participating delegates included Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, besides senior officials representing Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Pointing out that drug traffickers were not confined by national or state boundaries, Amarinder said Pakistan was promoting narco-terrorism to create trouble in India, with drugs being pushed in through Uri and Kandla, among other places.

ALSO READ: Punjab government takes steps to address drug menace

Given the enormity of the problem, it was not possible for any state to tackle it alone, he said, calling for joint efforts, with a National Drugs Policy to combat the menace.

Pointing to last month’s huge seizure of drugs at the Integrated Check Post at Attari (Amritsar), he said it had exposed the existence of an active and organized drug smuggling racket and network through the Attari trade route.

Investigations had revealed the involvement of a major International drug racket based in Pakistan as well as in Afghanistan, he said, adding that the problem had nationwide ramifications, with the northern region particularly vulnerable.

Calling for a crackdown on the drug factories in all the neighbouring states, he said units manufacturing illicit synthetic drugs should be properly identified for suitable action. He also suggested that detention proposals of big drug smugglers of all states be prepared u/s 3 of PIT NDPS Act, 1988.

Amarinder advocated fast track courts for speedy trials of NDPS offenders, especially big drug smugglers involved in commercial quantity seizures. The matter would be taken by his government with the Punjab & Haryana High Court, he said, urging other states to also pursue the same.

He urged the neighbouring states to consider opening of a Regional Training Centre for Training of Investigators for proper investigation of NDPS cases at Chandigarh. Existing Training Infrastructure available with Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh could be utilized for the purpose, and support could be sought from NCB and UNODC for providing trainers and training material.

ALSO READ: Punjab, Haryana agree to hold inter-state meeting on drug menace

Proposing the establishment of a Regional Drug Dependence Treatment Centre in Chandigarh area, on the lines of National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) AIIMS, New Delhi,  Amarinder suggesting that the states jointly put the proposal before the Union Government.

In another important initiative, he mooted the development and implementation of an Information sharing platform, for real-time sharing of information, both in physical and virtual space, in view of the fact that areas adjoining inter-state borders invariably become sanctuaries for smugglers, gangsters and criminals. Often, drug suppliers and criminals, who are residents of adjoining states, are operating in neighbouring States, he pointed out, underlining the need for sharing of lists and morning photos of NDPS Proclaimed offenders.

He listed building of common databases and sharing of dossiers of interstate drug smugglers, traders and peddlers among the measures for tackling the problem on a war footing. He further underlined the need for sharing of information relating to pharmaceutical opioids and synthetic drugs, as well as their factories, and also chemists and individuals supplying them.

As part of the joint efforts, Amarinder called for effective coordination and Joint operations with NCB, BSF and other central agencies, including the IB. Such joint operations should be intensified to tighten the noose against big drug smugglers such as those involved in importing a huge amount of drugs (heroin) across Indo-Pak border from Attari Land Route, he emphasized.

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