Punjab bearing brunt of war against drugs: Badal

Sangrur (Punjab), June 27 (IANS) Saying that Punjab was bearing the brunt of the war against drugs, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday said the state was being maligned despite the fact that not even a single ounce of drug was produced in it.

“Drugs like opium, heroin, smack and others are smuggled in the state from across the border whereas other narcotics like poppy husk are coming to Punjab from states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other states where it is sold openly,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function near here.

However, he said, ironically the state’s image has been belittled just because Punjab was fighting the war against drugs from the forefront.

“We suffered earlier during the nation’s war against militancy to protect unity and integrity of the country and now we are being victimised for waging a direct war against drug menace,” Badal said.

The chief minister said the state security agencies have cracked down heavily on the drug peddlers by nabbing them, thereby cutting the supply line of drugs.

He said the properties of the drug peddlers have been confiscated to ensure that people involved in this heinous crime get exemplary punishment.

Besides, Badal said, a network of drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres had been set up in the state to detoxify the drug addicts on the one hand and impart skill training to them on the other so that they can lead their life with dignity and pride.

Badal said that transferring Sikh prisoners from other states to Punjab jails will not pose any threat to peace and harmony in the state, and added that every decision of the state government was aimed at preserving the hard earned peace, communal harmony and amity in the state.

Badal said state governments across the country have been transferring prisoners from jails in one state to another state and Punjab was hardly an exception to it.

The chief minister said militancy could not be revived in the state with the transfer to a Punjab jail of an indisposed person like Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar, a Khalistani terrorist convicted in the assassination attempt on former Indian Youth Congress president Maninderjit Singh Bitta in New Delhi in which several people died in September 1993.

Bhullar was transferred to the Amritsar prison from Delhi this month.

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