Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday said there was need to check ‘narco terrorism’ by introducing modern surveillance systems along the international border with Pakistan. Sukhbir claimed that Punjab had the highest drug conviction rate in the country and was implementing an effective de-addiction drive.
The deputy chief minister, who also holds the home portfolio, said the porous and riverine tracts along the border and lack of sufficient manpower to maintain vigil effectively were hurting the state that has witnessed two fidayeen strikes in the span of less than six months.
He said effective steps should be taken immediately to seal the border and stop entry of contraband into the state.
He alleged that the Congress has launched a vicious campaign to malign the image of the state by calling its youth drug addicts.
He said Punjab had launched a crusade against drug menaces and there should be no room for dirty politics on this issue. “The mudslinging would only strengthen the hands of anti-Punjab forces,” he added.
Sukhbir said in 2015 the state narcotics control bureau confiscated 63 consignments in the border areas besides some heavy seizures of drugs, including 12-kg heroin in Tarn Taran, 18 kg in Amritsar, 13kg in Ferozepur, 25kg heroin in Fazilka and 74kg in Ferozepur.
The deputy CM said the Punjab Police was keeping a constant vigil along the international borders to prevent the inflow of drugs into the state. As part of this, police were taking strict action against unscrupulous elements indulging in drug trade and had put 75,399 persons behind bars from 2007-2014. This includes five BSF officials.