Suspecting extraneous considerations of the investigating officers and to dispose of the matters fast, the department of home affairs and justice has created a centralised nodal agency to supervise all cases of drug peddling.
Additional director general of police (crime) will lead the agency that will report the case progress to the department every two months, for review at the level of the principal secretary (home) and home secretary.
In a notification now issued, department under secretary Harchand Singh has asked the DGP, all police commissioners and senior superintendents of police (SSPs) to direct the investigating officers to appoint officers of the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) or assistant commissioner of police (ACP) rank to send the fortnightly district report to the nodal agency.
In the notification, the undersecretary mentioned that delayed investig ation forced police to approach the court for permission to detain the accused for longer, which extended litigation and the time the accused remained in jail while under trial.
He stated that the Punjab and Haryana high court had observed that since the matter was left at the discretion of investigating officers, the possibility of extraneous considerations could not be ruled out.
The nodal agency comprises all police commissioners as members and DIG (crime) as member secretary. It will hold frequent meetings with the DSPs and ACPs in all districts to look at the drug cases.
The issue of drug trade made it to the Lok Sabha election manifesto of many parties in Punjab. Several ministers of the state’s ruling alliance are accused of being involved in the drug business.
MOGA POLICE ‘LET OFF’ FUGITIVE DRUG PEDDLER
The Moga police have come under the scanner for letting off a man who was proclaimed offender in two cases of drug peddling and attempt to murder registered at Mehna.
Even though a fugitive, Bachittar Singh of Hirdewala village of Jagraon was not caught when he appeared before the police six months ago.
The matter came to light on January 20 after the Ludhiana police arrested Bachittar and another man, Angrej Singh of Dolewal village of Jagraon, and claimed to have seized heroin worth Rs. 1.35 crore from them.
Tracking his criminal history, the Ludhiana police were shocked to find how the Moga cops had let him off.