‘Narco politics’ behind Punjab's drug epidemic | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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‘Narco politics’ behind Punjab's drug epidemic

chandigarh Updated: Sep 12, 2013 13:36 IST
Sanjeev Verma
Sanjeev Verma
Hindustan Times
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Blaming “narco politics” for Punjab’s drug epidemic, former director general of police (prisons) Shashi Kant has revealed in his petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court that many politicians from various parties run “the racket” either directly or through henchmen in connivance with police.

Requesting the high court to treat his plea as public-interest petition, Kant has submitted that the drug racket in Punjab is not short of a “systematic genocide” by drug smugglers and their “protectors and henchmen”.

Having little faith in the state administration and police, the former director general of police (prisons) has submitted that problem could not be solved without an intense judicial scrutiny when there had been instances of drugs being smuggled in vehicles with red beacons atop.

Taking account of Kant’s submissions, the division bench led by chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said on Tuesday that the court would study the petition and take a decision. The court’s observations came when chief secretary Rakesh Singh, principal secretary (home) DS Bains and DGP Sumedh Singh Saini were present in the court.

Kant has attributed the drug epidemic to massive smuggling of heroin and smack from Afghanistan via Pakistan.

“More than 1,000 kilograms of it enters Punjab every month,” he submitted, adding that an entire generation was about to be lost on account of consequent infertility because of drugs abuse.

Drug money in politics Kant’s petition reads that with an increase in the cost of election campaigns, contenders and also political parties are getting dependent on “drug money”. Parties use narcotics with impunity to woo voters, and “the election commission sits like Gandhiji’s three monkeys”, he has submitted.

Some of the black sheep in Punjab police, narcotics control bureau, intelligence bureau and Border Security Force are involved in drug smuggling, the former DGP (prisons) has added.

Big smugglers going scot-free
It’s a matter of pity that police arrest only small-time smugglers, former DGP (prisons) Shashi Kant submitted in the court. “Till now not one big drug smuggler has been caught and brought to book. Why such masterminds cannot be arrested?” Kant added.

Kant submitted that when he was additional DGP (intelligence), he had handed over a list of politicians and police officers involved in drug smuggling to the state government and also discussed it with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

“If the state now denies having received any such report, what is stopping it from preparing a new one?” he said in court.

The remedy
As solution to the problem, Kant has suggested the constitution of an autonomous body that would be under the scrutiny of higher judiciary. The body should not be led by any politician or bureaucrat but by a reputed social figure without political leanings. Officials of various departments can be ex-officio members.

Kant’s submissions in high court
Punjab drug business worth`60,000 crore a year
75% of state population exposed to drugs
More than 60% schoolchildren in Punjab have takendrugs at some time
Most drug addicts in15-to-35 age group
Drugs use resulting ininfertility in men
Drugs being smuggled from Afghanistan via Pakistan
Smuggling through Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur, Ferozepur
Women and children selling drugs in retail at many places