Punjab employees found positive in dope tests not to be punished

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Chandigarh, July 9 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday made it clear that government employees who are found positive in the dope test to be conducted on them would not be punished or sacked but would be provided treatment.

He said that the identity of employees testing positive will also be kept confidential.

Chairing a review meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee set up to monitor the progress of the government’s anti-drug campaign, the Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to formulate guidelines and procedures for conducting dope test for employees, including police personnel.

Amarinder Singh ordered various steps to further augment the government’s efforts to ensure strict enforcement of the drug laws, as well as better systems for prevention, de-addiction and rehabilitation.

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“The government will pursue its Enforcement-De-Addiction-Prevention (EDP) strategy with vigour in order to eliminate the menace of drugs from the state,” he said.

Besides making Station House Officers accountable for cleaning up villages in their respective areas of the drug menace in time-bound manners, the Chief Minister also ordered expediting of pending drug-related cases.

“It shall be the responsibility of the SDMs and DSPs, along with the SHOs concerned, to ensure that their respective areas are totally drug free,” he said at the meeting.

In another major decision, the Chief Minister said the government will pay for the treatment of drug addicts who cannot afford to pay for the same at government hospitals.

The Chief Minister had announced on last Wednesday that all government employees, numbering nearly 3 lakh, including police personnel, will undergo mandatory dope testing as the state grapples with rampant drug abuse.

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