Drug Hotspots: Bathinda villagers living in fear : The Tribune India

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Drug Hotspots: Bathinda villagers living in fear

Drug Hotspots: Bathinda villagers living in fear

A police officer talks to villagers over drug menace at Har Raipur village. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Bathinda, March 12

Har Raipur, a village located around 19 km from the district headquarters, has become a hotspot for the sale of drugs in the region. People in the village openly sell drugs and, if anyone objects, they are threatened with dire consequences, due to which they live in fear.

Threatened by peddlers

Some days back, the police conducted raids to arrest drug smugglers but they attacked the police party, so one can imagine if they can attack the police, what they can do to commoners! Due to this, nobody speaks against them. — A Har Raipur villager

Even police raids conducted recently have failed to check the sale. A few days ago, the SHO along with his team raided a house, but was attacked by the drug mafia and was forced to open fire in order to control the situation.

Jagmeet Singh, village sarpanch, said the issue of drugs was alarming in the village due to their easy availability and many youths in the village are addicts. He said the drug menace in the village has also resulted in a hike in theft incidents as these drug addicts steal copper wire from transformers, starters of streetlights and anything they get their hands on.

The sarpanch also said, “Earlier, the villagers on their own had started holding thikri pehra in the village to control the drug menace and it also worked well for two months, but after that villagers stopped holding it.”

Sources in the village claimed that thikri pehra had been stopped because drug smugglers started threatening villagers.

“The people who are into this illegal business do not abandon this work and the menace has consumed many lives. The government should come out with some plan to help the village,” said a villager.

Another villager said, “Some days back, the police conducted raids to arrest drug smugglers but they attacked the police party, so one can imagine if they can attack the police, what they can do to commoners! Due to this, nobody speaks against them.”

Villagers claim that if the police make an arrest in a drug case, the arrested accused come out on bail in a week’s time and they get into a personal enmity with the person who informed the police.

Even Special Task Force (STF) senior officials had conducted a meeting at the village and two nearby villages, in which people had openly taken the names of the drug peddlers, but they were threatened by the drug mafia later.

DSP Rachpal Singh said, “We have activated our sources and intensified patrolling in this area. We have arrested many accused and seized drugs from this area. We also have succeeded in bringing down the drug menace in this area and we are continuously working under our drive against drugs.”

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