The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the Punjab Government on Wednesday decided to conduct joint operations and share information on drugs by pooling in resources to effectively tackle the menace in the state.
The decision was taken during a meeting between NCB Director General Abhay and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. The former had called on the Chief Minister during a visit to Chandigarh, and the two shared their concerns and strategies on the drugs issue.
The NCB chief extended full support of the agency in training and capacity building for Punjab Police to effectively carry out investigations of cases under the NDPS. They also discussed joint training of prosecutors and police and judicial officers to achieve higher conviction rates in drugs cases.
Lauding the steps taken by the Punjab government to tackle the legacy problem of drugs in the state, Abhay said the state’s fight against narcotics was incomparable. No other state had undertaken the campaign against drugs, which had become deeply rooted in Punjab over a span of a decade, on such a war footing, said the DG.
The two discussed ways of formulating a strong and impactful proposal on preventive detention for repeat offenders, which the Chief Minister had mooted earlier in the day during a meeting of the Consultative Group on Drugs, followed by a Video Conference with SPs and DCs. They also discussed steps to make strong cases for forfeiture of property of drug smugglers.
Abhay suggested that the STF set up by the Punjab government to tackle the problem and the CPs/SSPs should focus only on enforcement, with the tasks of de addiction, rehabilitation and awareness creation to be entrusted to the civil administration. The Health Department was ideally suited to be the nodal department for undertaking and coordinating rehabilitation and prevention strategies, with the DCs spearheading the efforts in their respective districts.
The Chief Minister made it clear that his government was totally committed to the total elimination of drugs from Punjab. The campaign would be taken forward in Mission Mode, he told the visiting DG.
The meeting was also attended by ACS Home NS Kalsi, DGP Dinkar Gupta, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Tejveer Singh and Deputy Director General NCB S.K.Jha.