Punjab launches DAPO initiative despite CAG report pointing out most drug abuse cases go unpunished

Leading the campaign, CM Amarinder became the state’s first DAPO, with STF chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu handing over the DAPO Identity Card to him at Khatkar Kalan.

Published: 23rd March 2018 09:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2018 09:08 PM   |  A+A-

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh (File | PTI)

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday launched a unique initiative DAPO (Drug Abuse Prevention Officer) - to engage with government employees and the citizens of Punjab in the ongoing fight against drugs.

Meanwhile, the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which was tabled in the state assembly yesterday stated that out of 756 accused acquitted by courts in 2016-17 in cases of drugs, 532 walked free due to deficiencies in testimonies by Punjab Police.

While paying rich tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on Martyrs Day at Khatkar Kalan with a vow to empower the youth and a clarion call to the citizens to join his government’s efforts to wipe out the menace of drugs from the state.

Amarinder took the DAPO oath, and also administered it to other volunteers, thanking them for joining his government’s efforts to rid the state of the problem of drugs. The state cabinet ministers simultaneously administered the DAPO oath to volunteers in various district headquarters.

Leading the campaign, CM Amarinder became the state’s first DAPO, with STF chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu handing over the DAPO Identity Card to him at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh.

Amarinder said that the DAPO programme, marking the Youth Empowerment Day, will involve engaging with dedicated volunteers to work in their localities in coordination with the local administration, police and STF. He said that more than 4.25 lakh DAPO volunteers had already registered on the DAPO website as part of the campaign and more applications were likely to flow in.

Pointing out that it was the collective responsibility of all to rescue youth from the clutches of drugs, which was destroying future generations he said that it was important for everyone to support the government in this fight against drugs.

Referring to a demand for naming the Chandigarh International Airport after legendary martyr Shaheed-E-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh, Amarinder Singh said the Punjab Government had already taken up this issue with Union Government and he would personally pursue the same.

STF arrests former DSP for smuggling drugs

Special Task Force today arrested a former Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Haqeqat Rai Singh along with his associates on charge of illegal trafficking and recovered 15 kilograms Opium, a .32 bore Revolver and 18 cartridges from them. The other arrested were Swaran Singh and Bikram Nath. All of them were produced before Mohali court.

The DSP had retired from Punjab Police in 2015. He was in touch for about six years with Bikram Nath, who had succeeded as the Head of Dera Baba Jaswant Nath of  Badoshi Kalan village in Fatehgarh Sahib after death of its previous Head Baba Jaswant Nath in 2006. Swaran Singh,a former truck driver, also used to frequently visit the dera and Bikram Nath had started consuming opium since teenage when his family offered him at the Dera.  Their modus operandi was to bring opium from outside Punjab on cheaper rates and then sell it here at higher rates.

Ambika Soni upset, not invited for Khatkar Kalan function

Rajya Sabha member of parliament from Punjab and senior Congress leader Ambika Soni is annoyed with the Punjab Government. She was not extended invitation to attend the state level Martyrs Day function at Khatkar Kalan. She said that she is hurt with the treatment given to her.

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