Amarinder disputes Punjab’s claim on drug addicts’ figures

Chandigarh, July 17 (IANS) Claiming that the Punjab government was trying to mislead courts and people on the number of drug addicts in the state, former chief minister Amarinder Singh on Friday urged the Punjab and Haryana High Court to force it to supply correct figures.

Questioning the authenticity of the figures related to drug addicts in Punjab submitted by the government to the high court in an affidavit recently, Amarinder said: “The government affidavit does not seem to reflect the reality, both in medical terms as well as the figures it has submitted to the honourable court.”

He said that there were gross contradictions in what the government had submitted to the high court recently and what it had disclosed in response to an RTI query on the issue around the same time.

“While the state chief secretary submitted in the high court that the total number of drug addicts identified in the state was about three lakhs, around the same time, the state government, in response to an RTI inquiry, had claimed the figure to be over six lakhs,” Amarinder noted.

“I appeal to the honourable high court to verify the Punjab government’s figures as it seems that they (the government) were trying to mislead the court,” he said.

Also raising doubts about the Punjab government’s claims about treatment of drug addicts, Amarinder said: “Normally the addicts are to be admitted and kept indoors for varying periods running into months together. Out of three lakh addicts identified, from government’s own admission in the high court, only 12,000 have been admitted in the rehabilitation centres, which is just an eyewash.”

He urged the high court to take cognizance of the matter and seek a report on the menace of drugs in Punjab from the state government.

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