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Posted at: Aug 21, 2018, 1:57 AM; last updated: Aug 21, 2018, 11:10 AM (IST)

Four CMs firm up joint strategy to fight drugs

Office in P’kula to share info, periodic review meetings
Four CMs firm up joint strategy to fight drugs
(From L) Uttarakhand CM TS Rawat, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and Haryana CM ML Khattar in Chandigarh on Monday. Manoj Mahajan

Pradeep Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh August 20

Indicating the enormity of the problem, the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh on Monday firmed up a joint strategy to battle the drug menace, deciding to set up a central secretariat at Panchkula for sharing data and to hold review meetings at the CM-level every six months and at the level of the Chief Secretary/DGP every three months.

The meeting was held at the initiative of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar. The HP CM participated through video-conferencing.

It was decided that nodal officers would be deployed at  the Panchkula centre to coordinate data-sharing. Also, the Special Task Force (STF) in each of the four states would meet every month to share information on drug peddlers.

Talking to the media later, the CMs said their Uttar Pradesh counterpart would be asked to join in the efforts. Jammu and Kashmir would be involved in the strategy later. In a joint statement,  the CMs stressed that data-sharing was a must if the battle against drugs was to be won.

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh said the state STF had registered 19,179 cases under the NDPS Act (till August 5) and 21,571 persons,  including police officials, had been arrested. A study by PGI, Chandigarh, last year had said 2.7 lakh of the state’s population was hooked on drugs — one out of every six persons. The problem was more acute in Punjab villages, it had said. 

Khattar favoured fast-track courts to try those in the drug trade. Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur suggested that the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act be invoked against the drug peddlers. 

Rajasthan Additional Home Secretary, who too attended the meeting, admitted that opium produced legitimately was being diverted elsewhere. Uttarakhand CM TS Rawat expressed concern over women being targeted by drug mafia.

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