In Fazilka, free flow of narcotics from Pak poses challenge to cops : The Tribune India

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In Fazilka, free flow of narcotics from Pak poses challenge to cops

In Fazilka, free flow of narcotics from Pak poses challenge to cops

Drug traffickers in custody of the Fazilka police. File Photo



Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, November 25

Fazilka district is considered vulnerable as far as smuggling of contraband is concerned as it shares international boundary with Pakistan and state borders with Rajasthan and Haryana.

Rise in Number of addicts

  • Due to increase in number of addicts, OOAT clinics increased from six to 22 in district
  • Nearly, 4,400 patients are registered at OOAT clinics with the maximum number, 1,700, at the Fazilka centre

Free flow of narcotics from Pakistan and Rajasthan’s remote areas into the district has thrown up a major challenge for the armed forces and the Punjab Police.

As a result, some villages in Jalalabad subdivision have turned into a haven for drug peddlers and bootleggers.

The hotspots include Mahalam, Tiwana Kalan, Kathgarh, Sukhera and Fallianwala. The villages are situated within 12 km from Jalalabad. Over 2,000 cases have been registered under the Excise Act and NDPS Act for distilling and selling illicit country-made liquor and “chitta” during the past two decades against the residents of Mahalam village having a population of around 1,500 people.

At Tiwana Kalan village, some women have taken over the trade of supplying contraband in different areas. Sources said women allegedly conceal drugs in their clothes to dodge police personnel.

Sarpanch Balwinder Singh of Tiwana Kalan village said, “The situation is improving and 10 drug peddlers from the village have been arrested by the police.”

Residents of Radha Swami Colony protested against easy availability of “chitta” twice in the past two months.

Shiv Jajoria of Radha Swami Colony said his neighbour, an alleged drug peddler, Pawan Kumar, alias Pawna, who had been facing several cases under the NDPS Act, was again found selling “chitta” due to which locals protested. The police conducted a raid, but Pawna managed to flee, said Jajoria.

Due to increase in number of addicts consuming “chitta”, the government had to increase the Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) clinics from six to 22 in Fazilka district in the recent months. Nearly, 4,400 patients registered themselves at these clinics. Maximum numbers of addicts, 1,700, have been listed at Fazilka’s OOAT centre.

Fazilka Senior Superintendent of Police Bhupinder Singh Sidhu said 429 persons had been arrested under the NDPS Act in 2022 so far. Besides, 16 proclaimed offenders were also arrested again, said the SSP.

He claimed that 6-kg heroin, 32 kg of opium, 2,802 kg of poppy husk, 89,877 intoxicating tablets and drug money to the tune of Rs 72 lakh had also been seized.

The SSP said they had tightened the noose on peddlers by conducting raids every week at the hotspots. He said 361 persons had been nabbed under the Excise Act and 27,000 litres of “lahan” has been destroyed this year.

#fazilka #Pakistan #Rajasthan


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