Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 26
Toughening his stance against the drug menace, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday mooted preventive detention of habitual offenders involved in smuggling or trading of narcotics.
He said the police had identified around 200 such smugglers for detention up to one year or more under stringent provisions of the NDPS Act.
The NDPS Act provides for preventive detention, without trial, of such criminals, especially habitual offenders, the CM said, while suggesting fast-track courts for speedy trials. He said he would take up the matter of operationalising such fast-track courts at the earliest with the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Capt Amarinder said this while holding a videoconferencing with the DCs and SSPs to review the progress on drug eradication and discuss the future strategy. It was preceded by a meeting of the consultative group on “Drugs: Comprehensive Action Plan against Drugs Abuse”, headed by the CM.
He extended his government’s support to the eight Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) teams assigned to map the border areas of Punjab and coordinate the fight against drugs in the region.
NCB Deputy Director General SK Jha informed the meeting that around 25 officers, including him, had been deputed here to strengthen the coordination with other states, such as J&K and Gujarat, which had emerged as major sources of drug flow into Punjab. Jha underlined the need to chase money trails to check drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, DGP Dinkar Gupta informed the meeting that the CM’s letter to the Prime Minister seeking a national drugs policy had evoked a positive response from the Centre, with Home Minister Amit Shah directing his officers to ensure better coordination in the matter.
It was also announced that Punjab will host the next meeting of the CMs of the neighbouring states for more effective coordination of the drug enforcement efforts across the country.
During the meeting, the CM reiterated his government’s zero-tolerance policy against colluding government officials, including policemen.
He directed the DCs and Civil Surgeons to directly supervise rehabilitation programmes and associate with Narcotics Anonymous and other NGOs for more effective execution.
The CM said a rewards scheme was being finalised to motivate people to join the fight against drugs. Good performance by officers as well as citizens would be suitably rewarded under the scheme, he added.
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