Chandigarh, July 27 (IANS) Initiating the largest-ever exercise of its kind in the country, the Punjab government on Wednesday started dope testing of over seven lakh candidates who have applied for posts of constables in the Punjab Police.
The dope testing procedure was started at the police recruitment being done in Amritsar and Jalandhar.
Over seven lakh candidates have applied for the 7,416 posts in Punjab Police.
“We will be conducting dope testing on all candidates. If the sample of a candidate fails, another test will be conducted to confirm things. Rest of the candidates will be allowed to proceed with the recruitment process,” Amritsar Police Commissioner Amar Singh Chahal told media.
But the Punjab government also wants to use the results of the dope testing to prove certain quarters wrong.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Wednesday: “I have invited all media to come and see the dope testing being done for the police recruitment. The recruitment process started today. We want to show to the country that Punjab is being maligned by vested interests in the name of drugs. Even you (media) can tested.”
He said the state government has taken the decision to conduct dope tests on applicants for police jobs to bring out the reality regarding the drug addiction menace in Punjab, as is being alleged by opposition parties.
“Such elements are trying day in and day out to defame Punjab and Punjabis but the SAD-BJP government would not let it happen. Dope tests would be conducted on around seven lakh youth who have applied for police recruitment,” Badal had said in Amritsar earlier.
“The results of this would be a tight slap on the face of anti-Punjab forces who are hell bent to defame Punjabis,” he said.
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, which has been in power in Punjab since 2007 in alliance with the BJP, and its leadership is being openly accused by opposition Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of patronizing the multi-million dollar drugs mafia in the state.
Studies, in recent years, have indicated widespread substance abuse by youth and in rural and urban areas of the state.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had, three years ago, claimed that drugs abuse was rampant in Punjab with 70 per cent people being addicted.