As part of its special drive to arrest proclaimed offenders (POs) in cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, Punjab Police has arrested 141 such absconders in one month.
Addressing a Press conference, Inspector General of Police (IGP) headquarters Sukhchain Singh Gill on Monday said to evade arrest, drug suppliers have started roping in women as an alibi to safely carry out drug trafficking.
It has also come to notice that Drug peddlers these days prefer public transport systems for smuggling which require more human intelligence to track them, he added.
Giving weekly updates on drugs, Gill said Punjab Police have arrested 472 drug smugglers after registering 354 first information reports (FIRs), including 36 commercial, under the NDPS Act across the state in the last one week.
The police have also recovered 5.53 kilogram (kg) heroin, 21.9 kg opium, 21.5 kg ganja, six quintals of poppy husk and 1.46 lakh tablets, capsules, injections and vials of Pharma opioids.
This apart, Rs 23.37 lakh drug money has also been recovered after carrying out cordon and search operations in drug-affected areas beside laying nakas at vulnerable routes across the state, he said.
The IGP said Punjab Police besides tightening the noose around the drug smugglers/suppliers has also been doing all the possible efforts to keep youth away from drugs besides helping to rehabilitate those who have already fallen prey to this menace.
He said all the Commissioners of Police (CPs) and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) have been conducting different activities including public meetings, visiting drug affected villages, conducting seminars, holding joint meetings with MLAs, sarpanches and councillors besides involving NGOs and Youth Clubs to work against drugs at their respective districts to sensitise the youth about the harmful and ill-effects of drugs.
The IGP said apart from sensitising youth, the Police teams are also counselling and motivating victims of drug addiction to shun this menace and helping them to bring them back to the mainstream by sending them to Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Centres for treatment.
Meanwhile, the Director General of Police has ordered all the CPs and SSPs to identify all top drug smugglers and the hotspots infamous for drug smuggling in their jurisdictions and launch a combing operation to nab drug smugglers.
He also directed the police chiefs to effectively forfeit the property of all the arrested drug smugglers.