In what could belie the claims of the Punjab government of fighting a war on drugs, hundreds of kilograms of drugs is lying in state “malkhanas” due to shortage of incinerators and other bureaucratic hurdles.
In an affidavit filed before the Punjab and Haryana high court, the government has stated that delay in disposal of drugs was due to shortage of incinerators, shortage of funds with the local police and also because the requisite drug disposal committee could not hold meeting, which is supposed to meet at least once in two months.
The affidavits filed reveals that concerned drug disposal committee sent requests for granting time for disposal of drugs, but due to huge rush at these incinerators, it did not get time.
The state has two drug disposal incinerators in Mansa and Kapurthala. While the Mansa incinerators cater to the police ranges of Bathinda, Ferozepur and Patiala, the incinerator installed at Kapurthala caters to Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Rupnagar range.
The high court bench of justice Amol Rattan Singh, in its order in October, had observed that reports had been received on administrative side from sessions divisions which showed that contraband was lying in police “malkhanas” due to its non-disposal in a timely manner, which increased its chances of misuse.
The affidavits by concerned deputy inspector general (DIG) of police concerned range throw a grim picture of state’s war on drugs. The affidavit shows in Ludhiana range, 782 quintal of poppy husk, 89 kg of ganja, 15 kg of smack and 13 kg of charas is yet to be destroyed. The affidavit also says 44 kg of heroin, 3 quintals of opium, thousand of pills, capsules in decided cases are awaiting disposal.
The drug disposal committee, which is required to meet at least once in two months is to decide about the disposal of the case properties. Once cleared by this committee, it is destroyed as early as possible.
The affidavit of Bathinda range DIG says 8 quintal poppy husk, 11 quintal opium, one quintal of ganja and 9 kg of heroin and 11 kg of charas is awaiting disposal.
As many as 51 kg of heroin, 11 kg of charas, 20 kg of opium and 11 quintals of poppy husk are yet to be disposed in the districts falling under border range Amritsar.
In the case of Jalandhar range, it has been revealed that no meeting of drug disposal committee took place during the current year. As of pendency, 1 kg heroin, 3 kg smack, 4 quintal of charas, 219 quintal of poppy husk and 27 quintal of ganja in decided cases is yet to be disposed of.
The figures given by Patiala range DIG also show a grim picture, as it has been stated that 325 quintal of poppy husk, 91 kg of ganja, 21 kg smack, 7 kg heroin, 33 kg bhang, and 77 quintal of opium is yet to be disposed of.
As many as 52 kg heroin, 29 kg opium, 426 quintal of poppy husk, 52 kg bhang and 2 kg of ganja is yet to be disposed of in Ferozepur range. As of Ludhiana range, 968 quintal of poppy husk, 89 kg of ganja, 13 kg of charas, 42 kg of heroin and 3 quintal of opium is awaiting disposal.
(All figures in approx from govt affidavit given in high court)
Poppy husk--2,739 quintals
Opium--94 quintal and 49 kg
Ganja--30 quintal and 89 kg
Heroine--2 quintal and 7 kg
Charas--4 quintals and 48 kg