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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

CM meets ‘drug peddlers’ in Bathinda jail and addicts at hospital

Kamaldeep Singh Brar, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, June 05, 2014
First Published: 08:07 IST(5/6/2014) | Last Updated: 10:47 IST(5/6/2014)

While the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is under fire on the drug issue in the state, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, during his visit here on Wednesday, spent over three hours with the alleged drug peddlers in the jail here and drug addicts undergoing treatment at the civil hospital.

The chief minister first visited the Central Jail where he met the people accused of drug peddling in an attempt to understand the problem. He spent about two hours with drug peddlers in the jail.

Then, he went to the drug addiction centre in the civil hospital where he interacted with addicts for more than one hour. He also talked to the doctors on the issue.

UNITED EFFORT BY SOCIETY, GOVT NEEDED

When asked about the deputy chief minister’s observation that the media was behind the hue and cry over the drug issue, he said, “We have to admit that it is a serious problem in Punjab.

The society and the government should make a joint effort to curb the menace.”

The chief minister also ordered an inquiry into the complaint made by the alleged drug peddlers, lodged in the jail, in which they had claimed that the police had implicated them in false cases in a bid to protect the big fish.

After meeting addicts at the drug de-addiction centre in the civil hospital, the chief minister said, “I have come to know that many of the youth became drug addicts after starting it as a hobby.”

“The Punjab government is going to provide best possible facilities with a free OPD at the drug de-addiction centre. A separate department will be established to deal with the problem and MBBS doctors will also be trained to treat the addicts,” said the chief minister.

The drug de-addiction centre the CM visited is run on the 5 lakh annual donation by the Guru Gobind Singh Oil Refinery. A sum of 200 per day is charged from the addicts.

‘WIIL TAKE UP MATTER WITH RAJASTHAN CM’

The chief minister said that the drugs like poppy husk were being openly sold in Rajasthan due to which it was difficult for the Punjab government to check its inflow into the state. I will soon take up this matter with the Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhra Raje Scindia to find out some viable solution for checking its supply into the state.

The chief minister said he would also try to visit other jails and drug de-addiction centres in the state to understand the problem at the grassroots level.

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