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Will not spare those involved in drug trade, says Punjab CM

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON JAN 31, 2020 09:51 PM IST

Says number of deaths came from 114 in 2018 to 47 in 2019; credits sustained efforts of his govt and police force

The Congress government in Punjab will not spare anyone involved in drug trade no matter what their political affiliations are, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday said.

Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh in the wake of a massive seizure of heroin from a house in the Sultanwind area of Amritsar city, the CM asserted that his government will not allow drug smugglers, gangsters and narco-terrorists to spread their wings in the state.

“Punjab witnessed a massive decline in the number of deaths due to drug abuse after sustained efforts of our government and the police force. The deaths come down from 114 in 2018 to 47 in 2019. We will not give up the fight against drugs till the problem is rooted out completely,” he said.

The CM said Anwar Masih from whose house 194 kilogram heroin along with chemicals was recovered early Friday was appointed by the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) government as a member of the Subordinate Services Board (SSB).

“Investigations are on to ascertain Masih’s involvement who claims to have rented out the house to those involved in the drug trade. Masih has failed to produce any written rent agreement so far and the people of the area are also unaware of any tenants living there. Preliminary investigations have revealed that the accused were using the premises for the last one month,” the CM said.

Initial investigations suggested that the drug network is linked with druglord Simranjit Singh Sandhu who was recently detained in Italy, he claimed.

“Our government will seek remand of Sandhu who holds an Australian passport. The seizure appears to be a part of the consignment of 300kg drugs that arrived in Mandavi in Gujarat last year and of which 200kg was smuggled into Punjab. The consignment had been traced to Sandhu. Efforts are also on to trace other big fish involved in the case,” he added.

Interrogation of Sandhu and further probe in this case will lead to others involved in the case, he said, adding it will also help find out whether the drugs were meant for distribution in Punjab or were to be supplied outside the state.

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