Nearly 500 arrests have been made in the crackdown on drugs by the new government in Punjab in the past fortnight, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said in New Delhi on Friday.
With 240 tip-offs received in just two days since the Punjab Police reactivated and advertised its 181 helpline for drugs, the number of arrests in drugs cases has gone up to nearly 500.
Talking to media persons here, Amarinder Singh said the anti-drugs campaign kick started by his government was yielding results and would get a further boost with the STF Chief Harpreet Sidhu taking charge on Friday.
Hailing the successful reactivation of the 24X7 helpline, which had become defunct during the Badal rule, Captain Amarinder said he had directed the police and intelligence departments involved in the crackdown on drugs to reach out to the people even more aggressively in the coming days to take their support in realizing his government’s goal of wiping out the drugs menace from the state in four weeks. The government has assured that the identity of anyone reporting any drugs related crime on the helpline would be protected, which has led instilled confidence among the members of the public, who are coming out with information without fear.
The tip-offs received so far were being verified and stern action would be initiated in cases where the information is verified, he added. The majority of the tip-offs received related to information about sale points and people involved in drugs trade. The Chief Minister reiterated that no drugs user would be harassed by the police or other agencies involved in the drugs crackdown.
To a question on the issue of VIP security, the Chief Minister reiterated his commitment to pruning such security, asserting that police was meant for policing and was not intended to be used as a status symbol by political leaders.
Providing an update on the drugs campaign, an official spokesperson from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) later disclosed that till from March 16 to March 29, 497 drugs traders and peddlers had been booked, with 449 cases registered under the NDPS Act.
Giving break-up of the drugs seizures made during this period, the spokesperson said 4.034 kgs of heroin and 0.605 kgs of smack were recovered from those arrested. Other seizures included 2.22 kgs of charas, 24.46 kgs of opium, 715.31 kgs of poppy husk, bhang 1.879 kgs of bhang. The police have also recovered 12.519 kgs of intoxicant powder, 1576 injections, 111893 pills/capsules, 72.78 kgs of ganja and 133 syrup bottles.
The government has assured that the identity of anyone reporting any drugs related crime on the helpline would be protected, which has instilled confidence among the members of the public, who are coming out with information without fear, the Chief Minister said.
Amarinder Singh, in the run up to the Punjab Assembly elections, had vowed to end the drugs menace in Punjab within four weeks of coming to power.