The Punjab Police have arrested as many as 335 drug smugglers after registering 251 FIRs, including 22 commercial, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act across the state in the last one week.
Divulging the details about crackdown on drug smugglers in the state, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sukhchain Singh Gill said 9.76 kilogram (kg) heroin, 8.68 kg opium, 11.56 kg Ganja, nine quintals of poppy husk, and 49,000 pharma opioids have been recovered along with Rs 40.50 lakh drug money during the period.
Gill said 45 proclaimed offenders (POs) under the NDPS Act have been arrested in the past one week. So far, 186 POs in NDPS Act cases, including 46 nabbed from out of state, have been arrested since 5 July.
The IGP said police teams have even managed to arrest POs who have been evading arrest since the 1980s and 1990s. Citing examples, he said Gurdeep Singh alias Kaku of Kotla Hoshiarpur, who was declared PO in November 1985, has been arrested by the Ludhiana Commissionerate Police.
Amarjit Singh, a PO from 1988 has been arrested by Fatehgarh Sahib Police and Mohinder Singh of village Dabalkheri in Haryana, who was declared PO in 1989, has been arrested by Sangrur Police. Similarly, at least three nabbed POs are those, who have been evading arrest since the 1990s, Gill added.
The IGP said besides tightening the noose around the drug smugglers, the police have been doing all the possible efforts to keep youth away from drugs and helping to rehabilitate those who have already fallen prey to this menace.
He said district police officers 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 in their respective districts to sensitise the youth about the harmful and ill-effects of drugs.
Meanwhile, the Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav has ordered all the Commissioners of Police (CPs) and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) to tighten the noose around the drug smugglers by identifying all top drug smugglers and the hotspots infamous for drug smuggling in their jurisdictions and launching a combing operation to nab all those selling or smuggling drugs. He also directed the Police chiefs to effectively forfeit the property of all the arrested drug smugglers so that their ill-gotten money could be recovered.