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India No One Cures Punjab's Drug Problem

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
No one cures Punjab's drug problem

By Jaideep Sarin, Chandigarh, Feb 10 :

From leading politicians to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) to the mini-parliament of Sikh religion, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), everyone expresses concern about the growing menace of drug abuse in Punjab. But the cure doesn't seem to be on their minds.

The state, which is the food bowl of the country as it contributes over 60 percent of grains (wheat and paddy) to the national kitty, has a widespread problem of drugs, especially among youth and in rural areas.

In the last couple of months alone, security agencies in Punjab, which has a 553-km long international border with Pakistan, have recovered nearly 75 kg of heroin - a high-end drug - worth over Rs.350 crore (USD 70 million) in the international market.

In recent years, the seizure of heroin, which is smuggled mainly through the Afghanistan-Pakistan route, has been in hundreds of kilograms.

With just 1.5 percent of the country's geographical area, the frontier state has now earned the dubious distinction of recovery of the highest volume of drugs in the country in recent years.

Last year, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal made a sensational disclosure. Punjab alone has accounted for 60 percent - roughly Rs.900 crore - of the total drugs seizure worth Rs.1,500 crore in the country made in just six months (in 2010-11).

The concern for the drug problem also came from CEC S.Y. Quraishi in the run up to the Jan 30 assembly polls in the state.

"We have encountered the problem of liquor during elections in almost all states. But drug abuse is unique only to Punjab. This is really of concern," Quraishi said here.

During the five weeks from announcement to holding of the assembly polls, various agencies recovered nearly 50 kg of heroin. Other recoveries included Rs.33.66 crore of unaccounted cash, 697,000 bottles of country liquor, nearly 32,000 litres of illicit liquor, 227,588 kg of 'lahan' (local liquor), 2,641 kg of poppy husk, 99 kg of opium, 952,697 tablets of intoxicating drugs, 88,296 capsules and 4,362 bottles of syrups.

Records of seizure of drugs by the Punjab police in the first seven months of 2010 showed the recovery of hundreds of kilograms of drugs of all types.

The recovery included 160 kg of heroin, valued at nearly Rs.8 billion (800 crore) in the international market, 50,000 kg of poppy husk, 455 kg of opium, 23 kg of smack, 800 gm of cocaine, 44.5 kg of charas, 351 kg of ganja, 148 kg of bhang, 11 kg of sulpha, over 700,000 tablets and capsules of intoxicating drugs, 160 kg synthetic powder, over 22,000 bottles of illegal liquor and nearly 26,000 injections.

A senior Punjab police officer, requesting anonymity, said drugs worth nearly Rs.3,000 crore could be transiting through or landing in Punjab.

The total drug seizure in the state in recent years is much higher with multiple agencies like the Border Security Force (BSF), the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the customs department, the anti-narcotics cell of the Punjab police and others involved in the recovery process.

In 2009, the accumulated drug seizures by Punjab Police and other agencies included nearly 600 kg of heroin, 400 kg of hashish, 350 kg of marijuana, nearly 3,000 kg of opium and a whopping 373 tonnes of poppy husk.

An earlier study by researchers at Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, 250 km from here, estimated that "73.5 percent of Punjabi youth between 16 and 35 years are addicted to drugs."

In 2008, Punjab Police seized over 200 kg of heroin from the state. The seizure by the state police in 2007 was 92 kg and in 2006 was 54 kg - clearly showing the growing drugs scenario in the state.

In an address on internal security in New Delhi last year, Sukhbir Badal asserted that the narco-terrorist threat was looming over Punjab. "Seizures and arrests by security agencies have shown links between narcotics smugglers and terrorists in some cases," he said.

At various religious congregations and small functions at gurdwaras, one common issue highlighted by speakers is the growing drug menace. While the concern is expressed, no one really suggests the cure.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at jaideep.s@ians.in) (IANS)

source: http://www.newkerala.com/news/2011/worldnews-157013.html
Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
70 per cent jail inmates addicted to drugs

Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 10
More than 70 per cent of the 18,000 inmates in various jails across the state are hooked to drugs and a large number of them are suspected to be HIV positive.

Drugs like heroin, cocaine and smack are being reportedly smuggled inside jails by peddlers and couriers, most of them children. These drugs are easily available at ‘friendly kiryana shops’ and medical stores in the vicinity of jails.

With the inmates vehemently resisting efforts by the jail staff to take their blood samples to ascertain if they are suffering from the disease, the exact number of those affected is not known.

“More than 70 per cent of the 18,000 inmates are on drugs. Jail doctors do not have the authority to coerce them into giving their blood samples. We are trying to persuade them to do so voluntarily.

“Routine medical checkups have revealed that a large number of inmates have infected genitals,” said DGP (Jails) Shashi Kant. That the jail inmates are addicted to drugs became clear when at least 300 inmates showed withdrawal symptoms in the aftermath of the clashes between the jail staff and the inmates at the high-security Kapurthala jail in November 2011. Against a capacity to hold 15,000 inmates, the Punjab jails — eight central jails, eight district jails, one high-security jail at Nabha and one open jail at Nabha — house more than 18,000 inmates.

A probe into the high incidence of addiction by the jail authorities reveals that children are being used by peddlers for smuggling drugs into and out of jails.

“The couriers use novel methods like milk powder to smuggle drugs inside jails. Each child is paid a daily wage of Rs 100 for the task,” said Shashi Kant.

He said Sikh exponent Bhai Baljit Singh had agreed to hold a music workshop for the inmates at the Kapurthala Model Jail. “He has also agreed to hold a musical concert in the jail before February 20 to wean the inmates away from drugs.” Various commissions and committees set up by the SAD-BJP government on jail reforms failed to achieve much.

The government, it is learnt, is yet to implement the recommendations made by Justice Amar Dutt who had also suggested improvements in the judicial system to ensure speedy trial. The commission that was constituted more than a year back submitted its report six months back. Another reform committee was headed by former IPS officer NPS Aulakh.

Staff crunch
- Jails in Punjab are facing a severe staff crunch
- The government had recently sanctioned the filling of 1,000 vacancies of Warders, Head Warders and Assistant Superintendents against 1,500 posts
- Curiously, it was for the first time that the Punjab Police was asked to make the recruitments instead of the Jails Department, which only "monitored" the process

source: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120211/punjab.htm#1


May 26, 2011
Lol, these fools ruin it for everyone, if they can just stay out of explicit drugs they wouldn't cause so much trouble and waste time.


Dec 22, 2009
this is so sad... most punjabi families have loving parents... people just rush into these stupid things b/c all these songs about how your supposed to be all high strung in your youth (in the east and the west)... what happens when you get a bit older?? that stuff catches up.

religion is such a good deterant of all this.


ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Dec 21, 2010
Answer is very simple to the question,

No one cures Punjab's drug problem
There is money to be made and being made in great piles by the usual suspects. Let us think who? Law enforcement, the rich smugglers/purveyors, the administrators of justice, and the politicians. It is a big money pit!

By the way this is not peculiar to Punjab. This is prevalent world over in Mexico, Columbia, Afghanistan, USA, Canada, etc.

Only solution is prevention and here the educational system and families are failing miserably.

Just some thoughts.

Sat Sri Akal.
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