The state which gets its name from the five rivers flowing through it now has a sixth river, that of drugs, ruining its generations to come.
The level of drug trafficking in the state can be assessed from the latest figures of the prison statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) last week which show Punjab had the highest number of convicts and undertrials locked in as many as 26 jails under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act between January and December 2013.
The statistics reveal that Punjab had 2,092 convicts under the NDPS Act.
Compared to Punjab that has a population of 2.77 crore according to the 2011 census, Uttar Pradesh, the largest state in terms of population, had only 984 people in jail for supplying banned drugs.
Madhya Pradesh had 694 convicts while neighbouring Haryana registered 613.
Unfortunately, the state also leads the country in terms of number of under trials locked in jails under the NDPS act for the above mentioned period. Punjab has 4,704 undertrials in drug cases while Uttar Pradesh has 2,976 under trials under the NDPS Act.
The number in West Bengal clocked at 1,353 whereas Rajasthan and Bihar recorded 1,060 and 1,048 undertrials respectively.
The issues of drug trafficking and drug addiction among people in the border state have assumed gigantic proportions and are believed to be the main reason behind the below par performance by the SAD-BJP alliance in the state during the elections this year. The hue and cry over the issue forced the state government to launch a special drive against the drug menace.