Anti-drug STF to target drug peddlers, not drug users

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (Photo: Facebook)

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the newly formed Special Task Force (STF) on drugs will go after drug peddlers, not drug users.

Speaking to reporters in the Assembly gallery, the CM said there would be no unnecessary harassment as part of the anti-drugs campaign, with only the real culprits of the drugs racket to be brought to book.

He asserted that nobody found guilty of involvement in drugs smuggling would be spared, howsoever influential or high up they may be.

The CM said the STF headed by additional director general of police (ADGP) Harpreet Singh Sidhu would soon become fully functional. He said Sidhu has been  given full  freedom to constitute his own team and get cracking on the war against drugs in the state.

The STF will go full steam on its mission to rid the state of drugs immediately after Sidhu joins on Friday, Amarinder said adding that the ADGP would be the final authority to eliminate the scourge of drugs from the state, which has played havoc with the lives of thousands of our innocent youth, he added.

The CM, however, made it clear that there would be no unnecessary harassment as part of the anti-drugs campaign, with only the real culprits of the drugs racket to be brought to book.

The STF, said Amarinder, would go into all aspects of the drugs menace, with pharmacies and chemist shops also under the scanner from the drugs department for selling illicit drugs.

Amarinder reiterated that his government would follow a humanitarian approach towards the drug addicts, saying children found to be on drugs would be handed over to the drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres to detoxify them and would be brought back to
the mainstream to lead a happy and normal life. 

He said that social counsellors would be involved to motivate the parents of these children to admit them for treatment in these centres, since most of them were wary of doing so on account of the social stigma attached to drugs.

The anti-drugs campaign approach would be a comprehensive one, combining crackdown with rehabilitation, he added.

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