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Dope test for arms licence: Govt should add alcohol in list of screening substances, say residents

As per the new directions, the dope test would be conducted by the health department authorities for a fee of Rs 1,500

punjab Updated: Apr 23, 2018 11:26 IST
Avtar Singh
Avtar Singh
Hindustan Times, Sangrur
arms license,dope test,substance abuse

Though the government has made dope test mandatory for applicants seeking arms license, residents say that it is ironical that the authorities have not included alcohol in the list substances applicant needs to be screened for.

As per the new guidelines issued by the principal secretary to Punjab government’s health and family welfare department, the number of drugs that would be screened has been increased to 10, as compared to the five drugs of the previous list.

As drug menace was a major issue taken up during the state assembly polls, after the formation of Congress government, the chief minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh-led government made dope test mandatory, to ensure the safety of residents.

As per the new directions, the dope test would be conducted by the health department authorities for a fee of Rs 1,500. The screening will be done for morphine, codeine, D propoxyphene, benzodiazepines, 9-tetea hydro cannabinol (THC), barbiturates, cocaine, amphetamines, buprenorphine and tramadol.

“In many cases, alcohol damages a person’s consciousness and leads to anti-social activities. If government wants to ensure safety and security of its people, alcohol should be included in the dope test screening substances’ list,” said Dr Payre Lal Garg, former registrar of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in Fridkot.

Experts claimed that criminals often commit crime in an inebriated state.

Punjab health minister Brahm Mohindra said that the issuance of arms license comes under the jurisdiction of the ministry of home affairs. “The home ministry issues guidelines regarding issuance of arms license. However, I will look into the matter and talk to the officials concerned,” Mohindra said.

Meanwhile, as five more drugs have been included in the list, the health department officials are waiting for new dope test kits. “The government will purchase the required kits soon. For the time being, we will buy these kits from private shops,” said Dr Kirpal Singh, senior medical officer (SMO), civil hospital, Sangrur.

First Published: Apr 23, 2018 11:26 IST