M A I N   N E W S

Drug trade: Sukhbir defends Majithia, denies leaders' role
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today defended his brother-in-law and Minister for Information and Public Relations Bikram Singh Majithia over the allegations of his alleged links with drug smugglers.

Sukhbir said no politician was found patronising drug smuggling in the state while asserting the recovery of around 5.5 crore capsules and other psychotropic medicines, arrest of 27,000 drug peddlers, including 145 kingpins, and suspension of 24 policemen.

Answering questions from mediapersons after releasing his plan to check drug menace and rehabilitation of the addicts, Sukhbir said there was no evidence to suggest the involvement of any politician in drug trade.

On the reported statement of arrested alleged drug smuggler Jagdish Bhola to the Enforcement Directorate and mediapersons about Majithia's patronage to smugglers, Sukhbir said his name did not figure anywhere.

Sukhbir said Akali MLA Swaran Singh Phillaur took the right decision to resign as a minister on "moral grounds" after his son's name figured in the Rs 6,000 crore synthetic drug scandal, but maintained that Phillaur's name also did not figure anywhere.

Sukhbir further claimed state BJP president Kamal Sharma had denied the reported marks in media that some politicians were patronising the trade racket. Sukhbir announced a de-addiction and rehabilitation plan for drug addicts being implemented from tomorrow. Under the programme, drug addicts will be provided free of cost medicines at 141 community health centres across the state.

Once they are de-addicted, they will be offered indoor rehabilitation facilities with 600 beds being created for this purpose in government medical colleges and private hospitals. Sukhbir announced that the entire programme was being taken up on a war footing and that the civil and police administration was being involved by setting up a Narcotics Control Board.

"We have appointed ADGP Law and Order Dinkar Gupta and Health Secretary Vinni Mahajan as the nodal officers from the police and civil administration to head the campaign. They will be assisted by Narcotics Control Bureau head Ishwar Singh and senior civil and police officers, who will be posted at each district headquarters to monitor the campaign.

He said a special monitoring cell of 11 IAS and IPS officers had been formed to monitor the drive. He said there was a proposal to establish 220 rehabilitation centres.

Narcotics Control Board being formed

  • Civil and police administration are being involved by setting up a Narcotics Control Board
  • Drug addicts will be provided medicines free of cost at 141 community health centers across the state
  • Once de-addicted, they will be offered indoor rehabilitation facilities
  • As many as 600 beds are being arranged in government medical colleges and private hospitals





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