Joint efforts needed to eradicate drug smuggling: Sukhbir Singh Badal
Chandigarh: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday said illegal supply of drugs from Pakistan and Afghanistan poses serious threat and it should be addressed urgently to "save our younger generations".
Participating in a debate on the problem of drugs in the Punjab Assembly, Sukhbir said it was not an issue of a single party and it should be taken up as a joint mission.
Seeking cooperation from the state Congress unit and Leader of the Opposition Sunil Kumar Jakhar, he said a joint delegation comprising MLAs from SAD, BJP and Congress should meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to mount pressure on Centre.
He said Punjab Police have launched a sustained drive against smugglers and registered a record seizure of drugs.
Sukhbir said it was the duty of the Centre to prevent smuggling of drugs through the International Border.
The Deputy Chief Minister urged the Rajasthan government to prevent cross-border smuggling of opium and poppy husk.
Reiterating the SAD-BJP government`s resolve to eliminate the menace of drugs from Punjab, he said during the past nine months Punjab Police have registered 11,500 cases and arrested 13,270 persons for indulging in smuggling.
The Punjab Assembly, before adjourning sine die late this evening, passed a resolution asking the Centre to take action to check drug smuggling and to strengthen border security.
During the discussion on the resolution, members of treasury as well as opposition benches, at one point, agreed that there is need to strengthen security on the border.
SAD MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha blamed the Centre for lacking
the intention to check the smuggling of narcotics. "Due to the diminishing courage of BSF, drug pedalling from Pakistan is on the rise," Valtoha said, adding "if the Centre admits that BSF is unable to check smuggling, let the border security be handed over to Punjab, we will control the thing on our own."
Congress MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, agreeing to the issue raised by Valtoha about the BSF`s "failure" to check the matter, also slammed the state police for being equally responsible and said "the smuggled narcotics reach the state only after crossing both security circles".
Randhawa said if politicians saw it as a serious problem, they should first set the House in order. He urged ruling party MLAs to ask Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was not present in the House, to take an initiative of taking all 117 MLAs of Punjab to Golden Temple and make them swear that they would avoid distributing drugs during elections and would not shield anyone involved in this illegal trade.
Another Congress MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar asked the state government to ban liquor sale in Punjab.
Among others, Congress MLAs Jagmohan Kang and Ashwani Sekhri and SAD MLA Pargat Singh also expressed their concern for the menace spoiling youth of the state.
The Deputy Chief Minister also expressed worries that poppy husk is being smuggled into Punjab through neighbouring Rajasthan.
"Police have been told that if any politicians, irrespective of his affiliation and stature, comes to shield any drug accused drug, I should be immediately informed," Sukhbir said.
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