Punjab cracks whip on cops aiding drug peddlers, 10K shifted in 3 days : The Tribune India

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Punjab cracks whip on cops aiding drug peddlers, 10K shifted in 3 days

Guilty face dismissal, smugglers’ property to be confiscated within week



Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, June 18

Days after The Tribune reported 14 deaths in 14 days in Punjab due to drug overdose, the state government has cracked the whip on “low-ranking” police officials, accused of being in cahoots with peddlers, by transferring them from their present places of posting to the police stations in different police ranges.

CM Bhagwant Mann holds a meeting with police officers in Chandigarh.

Instructions to SSPs

  • Accord respect to people visiting police stations; SSPs to be accountable for any harassment
  • Give respect to MLAs and other elected representatives
  • The govt to have zero tolerance policy towards corruption

As many as 10,000 “low-ranking” officials have been transferred over the past three days. The policemen found guilty will be dismissed from the service and the drug peddlers’ property confiscated within a week. Instructions were given to all SSPs and senior officials during a meeting called by the CM today.

Mann narrated various incidents highlighting the nexus between police officials and peddlers. “I have received complaints about how a raiding police party would raise the alarm while still away from the place where drugs were sold, so as to help the peddlers escape in time. Things cannot continue like this. We cannot sit and see these people wipe out generations of Punjabis,” the CM added.

Women voters had raised the issue of drug abuse during the Lok Sabha campaign, especially among children as young as 11-12 years. The political establishment seems to have taken note of that.

Mann said during the LS poll campaign, he remained on the ground, where he got feedback from the people. “Punjab had the longest period of model code of conduct for the poll. During that period, we came to know how drugs and cash were being pushed into the state, especially from Gujarat, Maharashtra and across the IB. We are now working to break the backward linkages. The black sheep in the Police Department have been identified and they will be dismissed from the service, while the state government will continue its drive against the drugs menace,” he added.

“A multi-pronged strategy is being worked out. We are breaking the supply chain, besides strengthening de-addiction centres. I have asked officials to be compassionate while dealing with misguided youths,” he said. The government was also trying to create jobs for the youths weaned away from drugs, he claimed.

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