Punjab cops identify 9,000 drug peddlers, 750 hotspots where narcotics are sold

Reiterating his firm commitment to check the menace of drugs in the state, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said the Punjab government has chalked out a multipronged strategy to wipe it out.
Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann with Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav (Photo | Express)
Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann with Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav (Photo | Express)

CHANDIGARH: In the wake of at least 14 alleged drug overdose deaths reported in Punjab in the past two weeks, the special task force on drugs and the intelligence wing of the Punjab Police have identified 9,000 street level peddlers across the state and 750 hotspots where the contraband is sold.

Reiterating his firm commitment to check the menace of drugs in the state, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said the Punjab government has chalked out a multipronged strategy to wipe it out.

After chairing a meeting with the Punjab Police top brass here, Mann said the state police had confiscated a lot of cash and drugs during the run-up to the polls, adding that it came to light that cops at the lower level were sometimes involved with drug peddlers resulting in a strong nexus between them.

Mann said the state government has transferred a number of police officials at the lowest ebb of the hierarchy who have been squatting in their posts for long. "I have asked DGP Punjab to immediately transfer low ranking officials in each police station. Over 10,000 such officials have been reshuffled," he said.

Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav said, "A massive administrative reshuffle has been undertaken. A station house officer (SHO) has the power to freeze the property of a drug smuggler under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. In the last two years, we have frozen property worth Rs 200 crore in 459 cases," he said.

Yadav said directions have been issued to identify the point of sale of drugs in "mohallas" and villages. "The special task force and intelligence wing have prepared a list of 9,000 street-level peddlers in the state and immediate action will be taken against them. Also, 750 drug hotspots have been identified in the state," he said.

Mann said that the black sheep in the police department are being identified and strict action will be taken against them. He said that if anyone is found involved in smuggling of drugs, the police will confiscate and freeze his property within a week. Mann also said that to enhance the efficiency of the Punjab Police, the state government has decided to create 10,000 new posts in the force.

Drones from across the border are bringing pistols, cash and narcotics, said Mann. Pointing out that "gangsters, smugglers and terrorists have come together, he said a detailed strategy has been formed to tackle this nexus.

Mann said that not even a single ounce of drugs is being produced in the state but it is being smuggled from across the border and from other states.

He said that the state government cannot sit idle and see these people selling drugs and committing ‘genocide’ of our future generations, adding that exemplary action will be taken against them so that it acts as a deterrent for others.

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