Punjab government’s move against drug menace dying without any output
Punjab is in tight grip of drug abuse. According to various reports vast majority of present day youth in Punjab are in death clinches of drugs. Punjab government led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son, and his deputy in government, Sukhbir Badal has been attempting to undermine the issue. The results of recently held Lok Sabha polls pushed Punjab government to rethink about it’s position on drug issue.
Soon after the Lok Sabha results, ruling party Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal)’s ally Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) alleged that Badal Dal’s tarnished image due to it’s ‘failure’ to curb drug menace had costed electoral loss to the Badal-BJP alliance in Punjab. Under such a situation, the Punjab government started a move against drug menace in Punjab with full propaganda.
Drug abuse in PunjabSeveral arrests were made by the Punjab police and CM Parkash Singh Badal launched many drug de-addiction centers.
The drug problem in Punjab is believed to have close political connections. Many of state ministers have been accused of involvement in drug trade. A former Punjab police cop and an international drug lord Jagidh Bhola openly named Bikram Majithia, a Punjab cabinet minister and close relative of ruling Badal family, as patron of drug trade in Majha region of Punjab. Sevens other politicians were named by former DGP (Prisons) Shashi Kant.
Though much was not expected from Badal Government’s so-called move against drug abuse in the state, but no one had imagined that the government’s move would dye down so quickly without yielding any results.
Former Punjab DGP (Prisons), Shashi Kant, in an exclusive interview the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) pointed that there had been no extensive report so far by the government about the drug addiction problem or the drugs trade in Punjab.
Without mentioning the name of Bikram Majithia, Shashi Kant said that “when accusations were levelled against a person, the government came forward with rebuttal in five minutes”.
“Did their investigations were over in 5 minutes?” he asked.
He said that no data was available regarding drugs abuse in Punjab. No government or agency was interested to hold a detailed inquiry or investigation and bring out a detailed report. He also pointed out that the Punjab police has not proceeded against any of big-names (politicians) who were allegedly patronizing and controlling drug trade in Punjab.
On drug de-addiction centers activated by the Punjab Government, Shashi Kant, said that these centers were just shifting the form of drug addiction. “In these centers drug addicts were being treated with another type of (drug) addiction”, he said.
Notably Punjab deputy chief minister has been making conflicting statements on this issue. On one occasion Sukhbir Badal said that there was no serious drug abuse in Punjab but on another occasion he said that the Punjab police has arrested more than 27,000 persons involved in drugs trade and abuse in Punjab in last two years.
Shashi Kant, while talking to Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) said that Punjab government has been playing politics of vendetta under the grab of move against drug paddlers. “The government was not interested in proceeding against main parties to the drug trade in Punjab, because these persons were part and parcel of the government itself”, said Shashi Kant.
The move that was started by Punjab government after Lok Sabha elections is almost dead and other political issues have ousted the issue of drugs abuse out of the domain of discussion.
Soon after the issue of formation of separate SGPC for Haryana emerged, the issue of drugs abuse begun to fade away. Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was quick to pick the opportunity and successfully diverted away the attention. Now all eyes are fixed on Punjab assembly by-elections and it seems as if the issue of drug menace is completely out of focus. Government’s propaganda machinery has also adopted complete silence drugs issue.