Ludhiana: In a first-of-its-kind statewide drive, the Punjab Police on Friday destroyed several quintals of illicit drugs at various places across all the districts of the state, in a symbolic gesture to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The destruction of the drugs came amid Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s declared resolve that his government would not rest till every single drug smuggler/trader is behind the bars and the drug mafia is completely eliminated from Punjab.
Even as the back of the drugs mafia had been successfully broken, the war was still continuing, with narco-terrorists from across the border continuing to push drugs into Punjab, using drones and other routes, he said.
According to Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Dinkar Gupta, teams of Punjab Police took over the task of destroying 62.140 Kg of Heroin, along with 326.52 Quintal Poppy Husk, 12.536 Kg Charas, 490 grams Sulfa, 755.905 Kg Smack, 1.970 Kg Brown Sugar, 148.280 Kg Intoxicant Powder, 137.106 Kg Ganja, along with 14,36,410 Pills/Capsules, 9941 Syringes and 1101 Syrup Bottles.
In addition, 41.880 Kg Opium was deposited in Government Opium and Alkaloid Factory, disclosed the DGP.
Around 1.3 lakh drug users have joined the de-addiction programme since March, indicating reduction in the availability of drugs in villages/towns, which had total 12 lakh harmful/dependent drug users in the state as per a Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, Survey of 2019, when only 5.41 lakh of the users were undergoing treatment at the private/government de-addiction centres.
The concerted efforts of the Punjab Police, including the Special Task Force (STF), have led to manifold increase in seizure of Heroin in the state in less than four years from 207 Kg in 2016 to 410 Kg in 2018, 464 Kg in 2019 and 504 Kg in 2020.
Punjab Police has made a single largest ever record seizure of 504 Kg Heroin in 2020. Major successes were made this year in recovery of drugs and arrests of big fish, including Afghan nationals, this year which has also witnessed unravelling of some major international narco-terror networks with the arrest of some big drug lords.
Since the Captain Amarinder government took over in March 2017, total 180 big Heroin smugglers have been arrested, with properties worth Rs 118 crore forfeited. Property forfeiture of major drug smugglers has gone up by more than 3 times since 2017 – forfeiture then stood at Rs 18 crore – to Rs 58 crore in 2020. Forfeiture proposals worth Rs 151 crore are pending with the State Finance Ministry for the period between 2017 and 2020.