Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, Lok Sabha member from Patiala, on Tuesday appealed to Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to review cases of all those languishing in jails for drug-related offences. Seeking a lenient view towards such inmates, he also demanded de-addiction facilities for them.
Dr Gandhi had recently led a delegation to Amarinder for legalising opium, poppy husk and other natural intoxicants to fight drug menace in the state.
Reacting to reports of a woman’s arrest for trying to smuggle Buprenorphine capsules into the Kapurthala jail for her husband, Dr Gandhi said it highlighted the needs of drug users. “The incident speaks of the failure of the healthcare system in jails,” he said, claiming in the past deaths of drug users have also been reported from the jail on account of withdrawal symptoms or suicide.
The MP said Buprenorphine is an opium substitute used at de-addiction centres to cure an addict. “It was initially intended to be supplied through government facilities under the supervision of a psychiatrist, but has over time become an abused drug,” he said.
Demanding immediate review of all cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, he said such a step will also help decongest Punjab jails and help avoid violence in prisons.