Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday said the state was being unfairly targeted for drug abuse despite the fact that it was carrying out a vigorous campaign against the menace.
“The state was being maligned despite the fact that not even a single ounce of drug was produced in it. Drugs such as opium, heroin, smack and others are smuggled into the state from across the border whereas other narcotics such as poppy husk are coming to Punjab from states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other states where it is sold openly," the chief minister told reporters during a sangat darshan programme here.
"We suffered earlier during the nation's war against militancy to protect unity and integrity of the country and now we are being victimised for waging a direct war against drug menace," Badal said.
The chief minister said the state security agencies have cracked down heavily on the drug peddlers by nabbing them, thereby cutting the supply line of drugs.
Besides, Badal said, the state government will set up drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres in each district.
When asked will he take up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the repeated slamming of Punjab as a “drug state” by central and state BJP leaders , Badal replied in negative.
The octogenarian chief minister held sangat darshan programme in over a dozen villages in the Dhuri constituency.
The objective of the three-day visit is to hear grievances of the people and also thank them for voting Gobind Singh Longowal to the Vidhan Sabha in the last bypolls. Badal concludes his visit on Sunday.
Badal said, “There is no politics involved in the sangat darshan programme. I believe that government officials should reach out to people to mitigate their problems.”
The people sought grants from the chief minister for various community projects, including maintenance of dispensaries, village stadium and construction of toilets.
Badal said transferring Sikh prisoners from other states to Punjab jails will not pose any threat to peace and harmony in the state.
He said state governments across the country have been transferring prisoners from jails in one state to another state and Punjab was hardly an exception to it.
The chief minister said militancy could not be revived in the state with the transfer to a Punjab jail of an indisposed person such as Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, a 1993 blast convict. Bhullar was transferred to the Amritsar prison from Delhi this month.