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CM calls for 3-pronged strategy to free Punjab from drug menace

Bhagwant Mann directed officers to accelerate ‘enforcement, de-addiction and prevention’ to make the state drug-free.

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |


Two days after Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit said drugs were “available like grocery items” at general stores in the state, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday directed officers to accelerate a three pronged strategy of ‘enforcement, de-addiction and prevention’ for making Punjab a drug free state.

Chairing a review meeting with the deputy commissioners (DCs), commissioners of police and senior superintendents of police (SSPs), the CM said an area–specific strategy should be tailored to each police station area for effective enforcement.

He said appropriate action should be taken against colluding police and government officials to break any nexus with drug traffickers and property of drug traffickers should be confiscated under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.

The CM also asked the officers to ensure proper rehabilitation and treatment of the victims of drug menace. He said that emphasis must be given on outpatient treatment based on harm reduction, medication, counselling and peer support.

He also asked the officers to intensify action against promotion of gun culture in the state. He said that 167 FIRs have so far been registered for glorification of weapons in the state and 1.77 lakh weapons have been verified out of the total 4.38 lakh in the state. However, Bhagwant Mann underlined more strenuous efforts by the officers in this regard adding that the officers must complete the verification process at the earliest.

The CM said that the state government has already launched a major crackdown against gangsters in the state and the Anti Gangster Task Force (AGTF). He said that so far over 503 gangsters, two have been neutralized, and over 138 criminal modules have been busted. 481 weapons and 106 vehicles used by these criminals have been recovered.

Mann, while reiterating zero tolerance policy against corruption in the state, asked the DCs to hold monthly meetings with the SSP, Vigilance. He said the state government is duty bound to ensure that the corrupt elements get the due punishment for their sinister acts.

The CM also said that the officers will be made accountable for any sort of illegal mining being carried out in areas under their jurisdiction. He said that strict action should be taken against those involved in this heinous crime.

Mann also asked the officers to oversee the functioning of the Aam Aadmi Clinics to impart quality treatment to the people. He also said that adequate focus should also be laid on the ‘schools of eminence’ being started across the state.