After multiple deaths due to drug overdose being reported from across state, the Patiala district police are now attempting to break the supply chain by targeting drug peddlers.
As a result, there is a spurt in the number of cases being registered under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act. Over 20 cases have been registered across district in the past three days.
Moreover, as many as 11 cases under the NDPS Act were registered here on Thursday, in which, police have recovered at least 1,150 drug capsules, 1.62kg marijuana, 16 drug injections and 25-gram intoxicant powder from the accused.
Four cases were registered at Rajpura city police station, three at Sadar Nabha, two at Ghagga and one each at Sadar Patiala and Urban Estate police stations.
An inspector rank official, on condition of anonymity, said that they have received clear instructions from senior police officers to increase vigilance in their respective areas so that drug supply can be minimised.
“We are setting up special check posts and conducting raids to arrest history-sheeters in drug smuggling,” the official said.
Inspector general of police (IG) AS Rai said that the police force in the districts under the jurisdiction of Patiala range have been asked to take stringent action against drugs smugglers.
The Patiala range covers three districts — Patiala, Sangrur, and Barnala.
“Small-level drug peddlers are the ones who identify vulnerable youth and then hook them to drugs. So, it is important to arrest petty drug peddlers,” the IG said.
He added that the senior superintendents of police (SSPs) in the Patiala range have been directed to identify drug addicts so that they can be enroled to drug de-addiction programmes.
Patiala SSP S Bhoopati said that registration of cases under the NDPS Act is a continuous process, but all the police stations have been directed to pay special attention to drug-related cases.
Besides this, the station house officers (SHOs) across district have been asked to carry our intensive checks at villages in their respective areas and contact the village panchayats to identify chronic drug addicts.
“We have admitted at least 209 drug addicts in different drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres so far,” the SSP said.
Campaign launched in Fatehgarh Sahib
The Fatehgarh Sahib police have launched a campaign against drug abuse and have decided to hold meetings at every village in the district.
SSP Alka Meena said all SHOs have been directed to hold ‘Sanjhi Sath’ meetings at all villages in their respective areas, one at a time, on daily-basis.
One such meeting was held at Kotla Fazal village in which the SSP and other senior officials were present.
The SSP said that the villagers have been asked to provide a list of drug addicts and assured that their identities will not be disclosed at any stage.
“The campaign is aimed at making our villages drug-free and it will not be possible without the cooperation of the rural people,” Meena added.
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