Shifting the onus on the Punjab government for the rampant drug problem in the state, Border Security Force (BSF) director general (DG) DK Pathak has claimed that it is the synthetic drugs that are most consumed in the state rather than heroin.
The BSF DG, who was at the Attari border to participate in the Republic Day celebrations on Monday, told mediapersons, "There was a study conducted by the Rajindra Medical College, Patiala, which indicated that only 0.9% heroin was consumed in Punjab and it was synthetic drugs that were rampantly consumed by addicts in the state. The study was based on responses of addicts," he claimed.
Stressing that heroin was an expensive drug and not many addicts could even afford it, the BSF DG claimed that it was only the synthetic drugs that were making things worse in Punjab and these were manufactured within the country.
As the Punjab government has repeatedly blamed the cross-border smuggling for bringing drug woes to Punjab, the statement of the BSF DG comes as a counter.
Stressing that the BSF was working in a professional way, Pathak said, "Our men are very vigilant and guard the borders with utmost commitment. In the last two years, the seizures made by the BSF have gone high and this indicates the level of the vigil".
When his attention was drawn to the government claims that the cross-border smuggling was responsible for the drug menace in the state, the BSF DG said, "It is their prerogative to say what they like. But as far as the BSF is concerned, we are focused on our job to foil smuggling and infiltration bids from across the border".
Sukhbir evasive on BSF claim
Meanwhile, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, who was in the city on Tuesday refused to comment on the BSF DG's claim that synthetic drugs were the root cause of the drug menace. He merely said, "No synthetic drugs are manufactured in Punjab".
On frequent ceasefire violations in the Jammu region, the DG said, "Definitely, the incidents of ceasefire violations have been regular and efforts are being made to keep a close eye along the border."
Golf carts, led screen for Attari border
With an aim to facilitate the senior citizens, who reach the Attari border to watch the retreat ceremony, the BSF DG flagged off two golf carts at the Attari border.
These carts would ferry the senior citizens and the facility will be provided free of cost. It will be managed by the BSF.
Besides, the DG also inaugurated a big-sized LED screen right outside the ceremony area. He said that visitors who do not get enough space in the gallery during the Beating the Retreat ceremony can have good view of the proceedings through the LED screen.