Preventive detention, speedy trials weapons for war against drugs: CM

war against drugs

Chandigarh, June 26: Escalating his government’s fight against drugs, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday mooted preventive detention of repeat offenders in drugs smuggling or trading, amid reports that there were around 200 such criminals identified by the Punjab Police.

The NDPS Act provides for preventive detention of such criminals, the Chief Minister pointed out, while also suggesting Fast Track Courts for speedy trials for NDPS offenders. He said he will take up the matter of operationalising such Fast Track Courts at the earliest with the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Captain Amarinder was holding a video conference with DCs and SSPs to review the progress on drug eradication and discuss the future strategy. The video conference was preceded by a meeting of the Consultative Group on Drugs: Comprehensive Action Plan against Drugs Abuse, headed by the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister extended his government’s full support to the eight Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) teams assigned to map the border areas of Punjab and coordinate the fight against drugs in the region.

NCB Deputy Director General SK Jha informed the meeting that around 25 officers, including himself had been deputed to Punjab to strengthen coordination with other states, such as J&K and Gujarat, which had emerged as major sources of drugs flow into this state.

It was also announced that Punjab would host the next meeting of the Chief Ministers on the drug enforcement efforts across States.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister reiterated his government’s Zero Tolerance policy against colluding government officials, including policemen.

Criminal cases under u/s 29 of NDPS Act (Abetment) and Prevention of Corruption Act to be registered, wherever involvement and wrongdoing is established, Captain Amarinder added.

Captain Amarinder said the drug eradication campaign will now be carried out in Mission Mode, with transfers and postings of DCs/SSPs to depend on performance in `Drive Against Drugs’.

Sub-divisional DSPs/SHOs will be held accountable for any drug related crime. Monthly reviews will be conducted by IGPs/DIGs Ranges. Non-performing DSPs/SHOs will be shunted out, the Chief Minister said.

Chief Minister had directed to conduct regular meetings of District Mission Teams (DMTs) and Sub Divisional Mission Teams (SDMTs) to strengthen training of DAPOs and Senior Buddies.

The DCs and Civil Surgeons are directed to supervise de-addiction and rehabilitation programmes, and to associate with Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and other NGOs for more effective execution.

Captain Amarinder ordered a preparation of detention proposals of big Drug smugglers/suppliers u/s 3 of PIT NDPS Act, 1988, and also asked for activation of 181 Punjab Police Helpline to enable citizens to provide Drug tips.

The Chief Minister disclosed that a Rewards Scheme was being finalised by government to incentivize the people to join the fight against drugs.