The district had hit the headlines last year when the political leaders made a beeline after farmer suicides were reported from here. The district is again in the news after two youths died due to alleged drug overdose at Joga village here on last Sunday and just like few months ago leaders are once again hovering over the district.
First Aam Aadmi Party leader Himmat Shergill visited the families of the victims on Saturday and said that a drug syndicate was very active in the region, which ‘‘home delivers the drugs’’ and assured legal help to the victim’s families.
Now Congress leaders Manpreet Badal and Vijay Inder Singla reached the village on Sunday and met the kin of the victims.
Manpreet criticised the state government for the death of the two youths- Parwinder Singh and Mehar Singh.
“When the state can control and eliminate terrorism from Punjab, why is it taking so long to eradicate drug menace?”he questioned and further asked “Why the neighbouring country has only targeted Punjab for drugs? The same is not heard about Rajasthan and Gujarat.”
Senior leader Vijay Inder Singla accused Mansa SSP Mukhwinder Singh of pressurising the victims’ families to change their statement from ‘drug addiction’ to ‘suicide’. “It is so insensitive of the SSP
to threaten the family to change their statement and lure them with compensation money. The government has virtually crippled the entire generation due to this drug menace.”
Hardev Singh, Mehar’s father, told HT that he was asked to change his statement regarding his son. AAP leader Shergill had also accused the SSP of downplaying the drug angle in this case.
The local villagers however feel that political parties were just out to woo the vote bank. First they came after farmer suicides now after the death of two youths.
HT spoke to one such family which was promised financial support by AAP after it’s only bread earner had committed suicide. “My son had committed suicide and then AAP leaders had even organised a press conference regarding the same. It has all faded now as no monetary assistance was ever given to us,” said a member of the family from Achanak village.