Punjab drug overdose: 14 deaths in 14 days : The Tribune India

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Punjab drug overdose: 14 deaths in 14 days

Unending menace: In June 2018, a similar crisis had hit Punjab when 23 youths had died, with some found having syringes in arms

Punjab drug overdose: 14 deaths in 14 days

Photo for representational purpose only. iStock



Tribune News Service

Jupinderjit Singh

Chandigarh, June 15

At least 14 alleged drug overdose deaths have been reported in Punjab over the past two weeks, bringing to focus again how the authorities concerned have been struggling to root out the menace in the border state where the problem is often attributed to smuggling from Pakistan.

Unending menace

  • Overdose main cause, nine died within a week alone
  • Three deaths in Gurdaspur, 2 each in Abohar, Moga, Amritsar and Ferozepur; 1 each in Muktsar, Faridkot, Ludhiana
  • In June 2018, a similar crisis had hit Punjab when 23 youths had died, with some found having syringes in arms

Nine of these deaths have taken place over the past week alone, according to information gathered by The Tribune correspondents from various parts of the state. The data is based mainly on the statements of family members of the deceased and the local police. Three deaths have been reported in Gurdaspur, two each in Abohar, Moga, Amritsar and Ferozepur and one each in Muktsar, Faridkot and Ludhiana.

The high incidence of fatalities is reminiscent of a June 2018 drug overdose crisis in Punjab when 23 youths died, with some found having syringes still in their arms.

The police have registered cases against alleged drug suppliers in nearly half of the recent deaths. The government records such deaths due to drug overrode only after a viscera examination confirms it. It is suspected that the victims either took heroin in high doses or consumed adulterated drugs.

Three overdose deaths were reported today from Deeda Sansian village in Gurdaspur. The victims were identified as middle-aged men and one of them had syringe marks on his body. Dinanagar SHO Karishma said an FIR under Section 304 of the IPC and relevant sections of the NDPS Act had been registered against 17 persons. “Four of them have been arrested. A hunt is on for the remaining suspects,” she said.

In Abohar, two persons were on Friday found dead, one each in Nai Abadi and near Thakur Abadi, across the railway station. It is suspected that both died due to drug abuse.

The workers of Nar Seva Narayan Seva Samiti, an NGO, spotted the duo lying dead and shifted their bodies to the Civil Hospital. NGO chief Raju Charaya said the police should increase surveillance.

The Malout police have booked two persons after 23-year-old Jagmeet Singh was found dead under mysterious circumstances at a cremation ground in Shergarh village on Thursday. Jagmeet’s uncle Sewak Singh alleged the youth had died of drug overdose. Buta Ram and Dalip Ram of the same village have been booked under Sections 304 and 34 of the IPC.

On June 9, the body of Gurvinder Singh (42) of Kohar Singh Wala village in Guruharsahai was found lying in the village graveyard and a syringe was spotted near his body. He was the only son of his aged parents. On June 8, Sandeep Singh of Jalandhar was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Police officials said Sandeep was seeking treatment from a private de-addiction centres in Zira and died allegedly of drug abuse.

In Faridkot, Gabbar Singh (24) of Nanaksar Basti died of similar reasons today. Two deaths were reported in Moga between June 4 and 6—Kuldip Singh (40) and Mani Singh (24). Azam Mohammad of Payal (Ludhiana) died on June 3 in Khanna. In Amritsar, two youths were found dead allegedly due to drug overdose in Sultanwind village today and an unidentified youth in Attari on June 14.

(With inputs from Ravi Dhaliwal, Charanjit Teja, Nikhil Bhardwaj, Anirudh Gupta, Balwant Garg, Archit Watts and Raj Sadosh)

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