New Delhi: Following reports of the possible
large-scale smuggling of drugs during the upcoming Assembly
elections in Punjab and Goa, the Election Commission today
asked the narcotics department to increase surveillance in
these states and sanitise borders.
Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Director General O P S
Malik today met EC officials here and briefed them about the
measures being taken by his department and the manpower
dedicated for the job.
The Commission, according to sources, during its recent
tour to Punjab was requested by the representatives of various
political parties to ensure a curb on smuggling and illegal
transport of the `poppy husk` which is used to prepare a
variety of contraband products.
The EC, hence, asked the NCB to tighten its measures in
these states, besides the three others -- Uttar Pradesh,
Manipur and Uttarakhand -- where Assembly polls are scheduled
The EC has also asked the department, which functions
under the Union Home Ministry, to sanitise the state borders,
check movement of drugs from international borders and process
additional intelligence on the illegal movement of drugs.
A number of drug and alkaloid manufacturing units are
based in Punjab and Goa while the borders along Pakistan and
Nepal are notorious for the smuggling of such contraband.
The NCB has its zonal directorates at Chandigarh (for
Punjab and Haryana), Jammu and in Goa to deal with the menace.
In order to curb the use of illegal cash during polls,
the EC has already directed the Income Tax department and
other enforcement agencies to keep a tab on illegal funds and