The Patiala range police have arrested 185 small and big drug smugglers and peddlers in the past 17 days and got 37 convicted.
The director general of police ordered this anti-drug campaign on April 1. "The strategy is to break the peddlers' supply chain by deploying our teams in every police district," said Paramjit Singh Gill, inspector general of police in the range that covers Patiala, Sangrur, Mohali, Barnala, Nawanshahr and Rupnagar districts.
The Patiala police lead the campaign by making nearly 95 arrests and registering 85 first-information reports (FIRs). Of other arrests, 36 were in Nawanshahr; 32 in Sangrur, 12 in Mohali, and seven in Rupnagar.
"From big fish to drug runners on the street, the police have caught all types," said IGP Gill. "With the arrest of these bad elements, the graph of petty crime has also fallen, as most peddlers are also into snatching chains, purses and mobile phones," he added.
The police have broken the drug-supply chain only partially. "Drugs can be delivered at doorstep on just a telephone call, so it is difficult to catch all dealers," said the IGP, "as they keep moving door to door to deliver drugs."
Gill has assigned the senior superintendent of police to ensure quick trial and maximum conviction in cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. "In just a month of the campaign, 37 drugs peddlers have been convicted, 18 of them in Patiala," Gill added.
The biggest hauls, so far, have been 18-kilogram opium, 17-qunital poppy husk, 718-gram smack, 1-kg heroin, 80,000 drug capsules, and 12 litres of chemical raw material for heroin.