Amarinder orders probe in drugs-related deaths in Punjab

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Chandigarh, July 3 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered investigation into the recent spate of drug-related deaths in the state and directed that stringent action be taken against those found guilty, without considering their political affiliations.

Nearly 35 deaths have been reported in the state in the past one month itself due to drugs abuse and drugs overdose.

The probe was ordered after some social activists met the Chief Minister on Tuesday to highlight the rampant drugs abuse in the state.

Leaders of the main opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also met him in this regard here.

The probe order came just a day after the Punjab cabinet on Monday resolved to recommend, to the to the Union Government, death penalty for drug smugglers and peddlers.

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Describing drug abuse as a disease requiring treatment, the Chief Minister stressed on the need for rehabilitation of the victims and for making the anti-drug campaign a people’s movement.

Amarinder Singh, who had in 2016 taken a religious vow to wipe out drugs from Punjab within four weeks of coming to power has not been able to deliver on the promise through the government that he heads in Punjab since March 2017.

The opposition AAP and Shiromani Akali Dal have criticized the Congress government for failing to fulfill its promise on curbing drugs abuse in Punjab.

Drugs abuse is rampant, particularly among youth and rural population, in Punjab for the past over two decades.

The drugs racket has its nexus with powerful politicians and police officials.

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–IANS

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