CHANDIGARH: Tightening the noose further on the drug trade, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered the identification and strict action against police officials found to be involved with drug traffickers, especially those posted in the border districts.
Chairing a meeting of the Special Task Force (STF) constituted to combat the drug menace, Amarinder Singh issued strict instructions to the Punjab Police chief to deal with an iron hand with policemen engaged in the illegal activity.
He directed the Additional Director General of Police to constitute two STF teams in all border districts. The Chief Minister added that the guilty police officers should not be spared at any cost.
On the issue of fast-tracking the extradition of accomplices in the Jagdish Bhola case, he asked the Chief Secretary to take up the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs to bring all the accused to book at the earliest.
In February, Bhola, a former international wrestler and Arjuna awardee, was convicted and sentenced by a special CBI court in a multi-crore drugs racket, termed as Punjab's biggest, busted in 2013.
Amarinder Singh also asked the State Advocate General to form a panel of eminent legal luminaries, including retired judges, lawyers, legal experts and jurists, to impart practical training to the police personnel to enable them to effectively present their cases in the courts.
The Chief Minister appreciated the success of programmes in sensitising people against the ill-effects of drugs, and asked the Additional Chief Secretary Health to get an evaluation study done by AIIMS, New Delhi, on the de-addiction practices at the OOAT Clinics, to further streamline the work at the clinics.
The Chief Minister also ordered the Health Department to regularly monitor the working of private drug de-addiction centres, which were providing deficient services while charging exorbitant rates for the treatment of addicts, to check such exploitation.
Responding to a suggestion in the meeting, he asked the Health Department to examine the feasibility of giving requisite dose of Buprenorphine on a weekly basis, as in most cases the addicts were daily wage earners and labourers and could not spend time waiting in queues to get their medication.