"Though the laws were repealed after 650 farmers were martyred in the Kisan Andolan, now the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government is set to implement the centre’s agenda by unilaterally recommending phasing out of paddy cultivation in Punjab,” she added.
With Pakistan-based smugglers using drones to push drugs and arms into Indian territory, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday demanded the Centre to make registration of drones compulsory.
Taking part in a virtual meeting on ‘Drug Trafficking and National Security’ chaired by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the CM said that 491 drone sightings have been observed in Punjab since 2019 and 51 drones have been neutralised.
Giving suggestions for more effective control over the drug menace, Mann advocated that anti drone technology be installed on the entire international border of Punjab with Pakistan so that smuggling of drugs and weapons be stopped.
He said that a state-of-the-art Regional Drone Forensic Lab may be set up in Punjab preferably at Amritsar so that the origin, destination and route maps of the drones may be traced out.
The CM also sought access to custom databases so that suspected containers coming from other countries may be scrutinised from a drug smuggling point of view.
Mann also batted for more stringent provisions in existing laws to check this scourge. He said drug smuggling in Punjab is taking place from Pakistan, Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
The CM batted for reduction of commercial quantity of heroin from existing 250 grams to 25 grams to check peddling at intermediate level. He said substantive rank head constable should be empowered to exercise the power and perform the duties specified in respect of cases falling within the definition of ‘Small Quantity’ and Section 27 of Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Mann also sought an amendment in section 39(1) and 64A of the Act thereby decriminalization of recovery of small quantities to differentiate between victims and peddlers.
The CM said a total of around 1000 kg of Heroin along with 56 Hand Grenades, 126 pistols, 11 AK-47 and other Rifles, 9.5 kilogram explosives have been recovered from drone-based deliveries till 16 May, 2023.
He said that from April 2022 to 13 July 2023, 16554 cases have been registered under NDPS Act and 22,349 smugglers have been arrested. Mann said property valuing 26.72 crore in 66 proposals of drug money have been frozen by the competent authority.