Punjab CM orders transfer of cops conniving with drug smugglers in border areas

May 16, 2017 05:54 PM

Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: Stepping up the offensive on drugs smugglers and traders, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered shunting out of police officials suspected of connivance with drug peddlers and smugglers to far-flung areas, and also constituted an inter-departmental committee for intensified and coordinated efforts against the drugs menace.

The decisions came at a high-level meeting to review the progress of the Special Task Force (STF) in curbing the drugs problem in the state, according to an official spokesperson.

The inter-departmental committee will consist of Principal Secretary Social Security, Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare, Principal Secretary Education and Secretary Sports, disclosed the spokesperson, giving details of the meeting.

The Chief Minister also asked the Chief Secretary to take up with the DGP the issue of strict surveillance of the staff posted in the police stations of border districts in order to break the nexus between the Border Security Force (BSF) and state police officials with the drugs smugglers, and check smuggling of drugs from across the border.

The Chief Minister lauded the efforts of the STF in controlling the drugs menace but underlined the need for a more coordinated approach to tackle the problem.

Making a detailed presentation to the Chief Minister, STF chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu said the illegal business of drugs could not thrive without the connivance of certain mid-level police personnel serving in plum border postings for the past several years. He called for immediate steps to shift these cops to far-flung areas to break their nexus with the drugs smugglers/traders. He also called for shifting out of Health department officials found conniving with drug smugglers and peddlers.

Taking serious note of Sidhu’s observations, the Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to take up the issue with the Director General of Police to get the errant police personnel transferred without any delay. He noted that any complacency on this count would regress the government’s efforts in ridding the state of the drugs scourge.

Captain Amarinder Singh also urged the Education department to launch sensitization drives for students in schools, colleges and universities on the dangers of drugs abuse. He suggested use of animated films to showcase the harmful effects of drugs in order to wean youngsters away from them.

Appreciating the Community Partnership Structure proposed by the STF to contain drug abuse, the Chief Minister said that Drug Abuse Prevention Officers (DAPOs) would play a proactive role in creating awareness amongst the youth to stay away from drugs, besides helping the government to rehabilitate victims of the drugs menace.

The STF chief informed the meeting that members of Zila Parishad & Block Samiti, Sarpanches, Panches, Councillors, Government Teachers, Patwaris, Professors, Assistant Professors, Panchayat Secretaries, MPHWs and Nambardars would act as DAPOs across the state. He further said ex-Sarpanches, Panches, ex-servicemen, government servants, farmers, private school teachers, doctors should also be aggressively involved in creating awareness amongst the youth about the ill effects of the drugs and in countering misinformation being spread by the vested interests.

The STF Chief also suggested a three-tier training programme for DAPOs, which would include two-day state level training to 200 master trainers and district wise training to trainer teams. A trainer team would comprise police officers and NGO representatives.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary (Education) G. Vajralingam, Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare Anjali Bhawra, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Tejveer Singh and Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Gurkirat Kirpal Singh.

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