De-addiction centre row: 26 booked in counter-cases

A special investigation team (SIT), under the supervision of additional deputy commissioner Mohinder Pal, has started an inquiry into the incident. However, several other centres, that are allegedly running illegally across the district, are not under the scanner of the administration so far.

Meanwhile, the district police have booked 23 people in counter-cases in connection with the escape of the 45 youths on Tuesday after breaking the gate of the Ujala Foundation drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centre at Chrik village in this district and the alleged beating up of the youths by the staff.

The police have registered a case against 19 people for fleeing from the centre after allegedly damaging the property of thecentre on the complaint of the staff at the centre.

The counter-case has been registered against four staff members on the statement of the escapees.

Gurvinder Singh, 27, who is still under treatment at the civil hospital, said, “The authorities at the centre had not employed a specialist counselor and psychologist or a psychiatrist for checking the health situation of the youths.

The youths there were regularly beaten up. We tried to stop them for wrong doing but we failed.

So, we decided to flee from the centre.” Sources revealed that some influential politicians of the ruling party of Moga, Baghapurana and Nihal Singh Wala subdivisions were allegedly protecting such centres.

Due to this reason, the higher authorities of the health department failed to close down such centres after completing all pending inquiries in this regard.

In Moga district, the police had booked-over six people under sections 323, 342, 148 and 149 of Indian Penal Code, including owners of an illegal drug deaddiction centre ‘Khush Raho’ for merci lessly torturing a 21-year-old youth.

Information collected by HT, after the notification of the Punjab government to control illegal centers in the state on January 19, 2011 by legalising their services, only 87 centers had sent proposals for getting accreditation from the department of health.


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