STF to crack down on drugs in Punjab: Amarinder

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Chandigarh, March 29 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said the Special Task Force (STF) on drugs would soon get cracking in the war against drugs in the state.

Amarinder, who had vowed last year that his government would eliminate drugs from Punjab within four weeks of coming to power, said the STF has been mandated to go all out against the drug mafia operating in Punjab.

The STF, headed by additional director general of police (ADGP) Harpreet Singh Sidhu, has been given a free hand to carry out its action against drugs, Amarinder said here.

He said that Sidhu, who will join the STF on Friday, will constitute his own team of officers.

“The STF will go full steam on its mission to rid the state of drugs immediately after Sidhu joins on Friday,” Amarinder told mediapersons at the state assembly here.

“As STF chief, Sidhu would be the final authority to eliminate the scourge of drugs from the state, which has played havoc with the lives of thousands of our innocent youth,” he added.

The Chief Minister made it clear that there would be no unnecessary harassment as part of the anti-drugs campaign.

“Only the real culprits of the drugs racket will be brought to book. No one found guilty of involvement in drug smuggling or trading would be spared, howsoever influential or high up they may be,” he said.

The STF, said Amarinder, would go into all aspects of the drugs menace, with pharmacies and chemist shops also coming under the scanner from the Drugs Department for selling illicit drugs.

Amarinder reiterated his government would follow a “humanitarian approach towards the drug addicts,” saying children found to be on drugs would be sent to drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres.

“The anti-drugs campaign approach would be a comprehensive one, combining crackdown with rehabilitation,” he added.

–IANS

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