Ludhiana: Central agencies join hands with cops to ensure drugs, liquor-free elections

Senior officials of the NCB, DRI hold closed-door meeting with CP

Ludhiana: Central agencies join hands with cops to ensure drugs, liquor-free elections

Punjab Police commandos patrol a road in Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Tribune News Service

Nikhil Bhardwaj

Ludhiana, January 28

To ensure that the Assembly elections remain free from the flow of money, drugs and liquor, central agencies such as Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have joined hands with the police. However, state agencies have already pulled up their socks for checking narco-politics in the state.

Senior officials of the NCB and the DRI held a closed-door meeting recently with Ludhiana Commissioner of Police (CP) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar to devise a strategy to tackle the drug and money menace during the Assembly elections. The meeting was also attended by officers of the Special Task Force (STF) and the Excise Department.

It is learnt that first time, central agencies such as the DRI and the NCB have been joined hands with the police for the Assembly elections. In the past Assembly polls, the state agencies under the supervision of the Election Commission used to play the main role to check narco-politics.

The DRI is the premier intelligence and enforcement agency of the Central Government on anti-smuggling matters while the NCB is the agency tasked with combating drug trafficking and the use of illegal substances under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

Sources said this time, the commission have issued strict instructions to deputy commissioners, police commissioners, SSPs and all enforcement agencies of the state and the Centre to step up vigil to ensure that inter-state and cross border movement of drugs, liquor and cash was checked effectively.

The sources said state and central agencies in the meeting committed to ensure information sharing and they would coordinate to take immediate action to recover cash, drugs or liquor during the elections. They said agencies had already activated their sources in every constituency to keep a close watch over illegal activities.

Commissioner of Police Gurpreet Singh Bhullar confirmed that a meeting was held recently with officials of the NCB and the DRI for better coordination and to ensure that no politician dare to lure voters with cash, liquor or drugs.

“We are committed to ensure free and fair elections. We already have five companies of paramilitary forces and four firms are likely to join the Ludhiana police in a day or two,” Bhullar said.

The CP, however, refused to divulge details about the strategy formed to check narco-politics.

ADCP (Headquarters) Pragya Jain said the police and paramilitary jawans had laid joint nakas at strategic locations to check suspicious vehicles and persons. People could also call or send photographs and videos regarding any such information on the control room number 78370-18500 and the police would take speedy action after preliminary verification of the complaint.

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