Terming the widespread and indiscriminate arrest of drug addicts across the state without providing them de-addiction treatment as most inhuman, cruel and criminal, former chief minister and Congress Working Committee member Captain Amarinder on Friday said it would serve no purpose as long as the producers, peddlers and suppliers were not caught and punished.
Reacting to the arrests, Captain Amarinder said the Akalis, after having realised that people were angry with them for spreading the scourge of drugs, were now trying to befool people by launching this crackdown which did not address the basic problem.
"Drug addiction is just a symptom, while drug peddling is the main disease and you cannot cure the disease by merely treating the symptoms," he pointed out, while arguing that arresting the drug addicts would not serve any purpose as long as the producers, the peddlers and the suppliers were roaming free under the patronage of the ruling Akalis.
The former chief minister said there was a need to differentiate between a drug addict and a criminal.
"The way the state government is dealing with them is as if they are criminals," he said while adding that: "They need rehabilitation and not cruel treatment." He said if the drug addicts were not treated for de-addiction it could prove even fatal for them.
"Arresting an addict is no big achievement. Let the government say how many suppliers it has put behind bars so far," he asserted, while regretting that the animals were treated in a much better way than the police had been reportedly treating the drug addicts and their families during the crackdown.
Capt Amarinder pointed out as long as the suppliers were not brought to the book, the arrest of addicts would serve no purpose. "Because, the suppliers will find new users and may further spread the scourge as they know how to trap innocent youth," he warned and said that the detaining of the addicts should be for their de-addiction and rehabilitation than throwing them into jail and treating them in an inhuman manner as if they are hardened criminals.