Expressing concerns over strengthening of drug paddling network in the state, director general of police (DGP), Sumedh Singh Saini has instructed all senior police officials to chalk out a concrete "blueprint" to curb the menace, so that all district police heads could launch a massive drive against the narcotic's network in the entire state.
DGP Saini, who was at Phagwara last evening to monitor the investigation in ASI Shootout case, took meeting of senior police officials of districts including Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Nawanshahr and Ludhiana and instructed them to share all available information regarding drug network in their respective areas with their counterparts in each district, highly places police sources told Hindustan Times.
He instructed the police officials to make list of suspected drug paddlers in their area and share this information with district police heads of every district. Apart from arresting the drug paddlers, route of the contraband should be identified to trace its origination for breaking the supply chain, sources said.
Intelligence officials, who were present in the meeting, were instructed to share the information about the drug network with all districts with immediate effect and accordingly photocopies of the 'thick file' of intelligence's gathering on drug paddling was provided to each police official present in the meeting.
Some of the district police heads expressed inability to crack down heavily on drug paddling due to shortage of staff & vehicles and DGP immediately instructed the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) of Punjab Armed Police (PAP) GS Sahota, present in the meeting, to provide ample strength of cops immediately and sanctioned eight police vehicles for Jalandhar (Rural) police.
Unearth of the huge drug network led by arrested NRI Raja Kandola, arrest of Anoop Singh Kahlon with cracking of drug paddling and involvement of drug paddlers in the ASI shootout case, indicates that the border state has emerged as consuming point of high profile drug Heroin, rather than merely a transit point, police sources said.
It is pertinent to mention here that in 2011, total 5464 cases under NDPS Act were registered and 6125 accused were arrested in Punjab followed by registration of 10220 cases and arrest of 11715 accused under NDPS Act in 2012. Police sources said that this year the number of cases and arrest is expected to cross the figure of last year.
When contacted, Police Commissioner, Gaurav Yadav, who was also present in the meeting, confirmed DGP's strict views against drug paddling and said "getting tough against drug menace, the city police have arrested more than 160 drug paddlers within last three days".
Yadav revealed that there is increasing trend of shifting of the affluent drug addicts towards high valued drug heroin, instead of traditional drugs like opium and smack, especially in the Doaba region, known as NRI capital of the state.
About the reasons of heroin getting popular among drug addicts, Yadav said that apart from growing affordability and availability of the heroin, high valued contraband does not contain any foul smell and gives more 'kick' than other drugs like opium and smack are main reasons behind increasing trend of heroin getting popular among youngsters.