CHANDIGARH: Adopting a zero-tolerance policy against drugs and corruption, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today directing the police to go after the big fish among drug peddlers, gangsters and criminals.
Two days after his council of ministers decided to come down heavily on drugs and other mafias, as well as corruption, in the state, Amarinder made it clear to the district and police officials that his government would follow a zero tolerance policy against drugs, corruption, mafia and crime.
Chairing his first meeting with officials after taking over the reins of Punjab's governance, he warned against any laxity on this count. The government would hold top officers of the district administration directly accountable for any cases of corruption, illegal mining, illegal transport, registration of false cases, non-registration of FIRs, traffic violations, street crimes and bootlegging, the chief minister told the meeting, taking a no-nonsense approach. He directed the officers to lead from the front and carry out raids/measures under their personal supervision to eliminate drug and mining mafias within the next four weeks.
Amarinder sent out a strong warning to the police on the issue of drugs, saying that Police Commissioners, Senior Superintendents of Police, Sub-Divisional Police Officers (DSP Sub-Division) and SHOs would be held directly accountable for supply and sale of drugs in their jurisdiction. He said he was personally aware of complaints of corruption against field officers of various ranks, including DSPs and SHOs, in handling of drug cases in the past which is unpardonable. He warned of swift and severe punishment if any such case came to his notice in the future.
Reiterating his commitment to the elimination of drug mafia and drug control as his government's first priority, the chief minister said the government has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs smugglers/suppliers/traders/peddlers. Therefore, any laxity or nexus or complaints of corruption on part of the district administration (civil/police officers or any other officer from any government department) would be viewed very seriously, and severe punitive action would follow, he warned.
Identifying prevention of terrorist crimes as another key priority of his government, Amarinder directed all CPs and SSPs to make all-out efforts to trace previous cases of terrorist crimes, such as the Maur bomb blast on January 31 and the killings of leaders of the RSS and other organisations and sects in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Khanna.
Emphasising his government's full commitment to the maintenance of communal harmony in the state, and to prevent any sacrilege in any place, the chief minister said top officials would be held responsible for any such incidents in their respective areas. He directed the officials to ensure immediate installation of CCTV cameras through community participation and engagement, and custody management of sacred religious books where no CCTV cameras are installed.
He further directed the officers to take all measures for the prevention of organised crimes by criminal gangs active in the state, directing them to crack down on such gangs in a big way, without delay. Referring to the false cases and FIRs registered under the previous regime,
Amarinder said while the Commission of Enquiry which the cabinet had decided to establish would do its work, he expected the officers to ensure that there is no registration of false cases and free and fair registration of cases is ensured. While there would be no vendetta, such things must end immediately, he asserted. Assuring them of full support of his government to ensure a safe and secure Punjab,
Amarinder made it clear that he expected the highest standards of public conduct, propriety, punctuality and discipline from the officers, whom he described as the "brightest and best in our young team".