Punjab losing the drug war
July 11, 2018 | Brainwave Science
India’s northern Punjab state must find drastic measures after narcotics crisis killed at least 30 people last month. After the allegations emerged that local politicians and senior officials were consuming and pushing drugs. Amarinder Singh, the state’s Chief Minister, has directed over 350,000 state employees, including his entire cabinet and police personnel to undergo annual dope testing.
State’s Chief Minister demanded death penalty for drug peddlers as they are destroying the entire generation of population of the state. “The government will pursue its Enforcement-De-Addiction-Prevention (EDP) strategy with vigor in order to eliminate the menace of drugs from the state,” he said.
Studies show that over two-thirds of over every households in the state had at least one drug addict in the family. Victims were dependent either on heroin, opium, cannabis or other narcotics.
Most these drug users, mostly in rural areas in the predominant agricultural state, were males aged between 16 and 35 years, the report said.
“Punjab’s narcotics plague is far more insidious than the Sikh militancy and remains incapable of being controlled merely by policing or by treating it as a law and order problem” said Shashi Kant, former state Director General of Police. Drug usage was proliferating swiftly across the state, but the authorities remained in denial over its exponential increase, he added.
Moti Lal Kalsi whose son, 23-year old, Karan died last month of a drug overdose said, “Punjab won the war against terrorism, but losing the war against drugs.”
Districts bordering Pakistan are the most vulnerable to opium and heroin as these narcotics are easily and cheaply available, smuggled from Afghanistan.
Drug usage is deadlier than terrorism as it destroys the entire generation. Punjab’s proximity to Afghanistan and Pakistan, with which it shares a border, has meant that it’s a major transit route in the lucrative drug smuggling trade. That’s one reason why heroin and other deadly drugs are readily available but not the reliable data on the trafficking situation in the country.
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