The Machhiwara police on Monday rescued 32 addicts from an illegal drug de-addiction centre being run in a residential accommodation on the Nurpur road.
The police have booked de-addiction centre owner Pardeep Singh, who is still at large. The police are, however, questioning the staff at the centre.
Seven of the 32 addicts had multiple injuries as they were allegedly tortured by the centre staff. The matter came to light when the police raided the de-addiction centre following a complaint by Gurjeet Singh, a resident of Machhiwara. During the raid, the staff failed to show the permission letter. Moreover, no qualified doctor was appointed at the centre, said the police. A huge cache of medicines and sharp-edged weapons were also found at the centre.
The police said the centre used to charge Rs 15,000 as admission fee from the family of a drug addict and Rs 10,000 per month for treatment. The centre was running for the past six months without the knowledge of the health department.
Gurjeet Singh, Kulwinder Singh of Chhota Rurka, Parminder Singh of Ludhiana, Balbir Singh of Jalandhar and Harmeet Singh of Bulepur, who were rescued from the centre, said the staff forced them to sit alongside the walls and asked them to touch their nose and forehead against it for 18 hours. If the inmates failed to follow orders, they used to beat them up, said the inmates. An arm of one of the inmates was fractured in the assault, they said.
The staff also forced them to remove clothes and dance in front of other inmates. They were also hit on their private parts, said the rescued inmates.
Station house officer of the Machhiwara police station Sikandar Singh said the police had registered a case and hunt was on to nab the owner of the illegal de-addiction centre.