DW BUREAU / chandigarh
Punjab Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa on Sunday claimed that the main supply line of drugs like ‘Chitta’ had been broken and only petty peddlers, who were also being dealt with, were active now. Every village that turns drug free would get a grant of Rs 5 lakh to purchase gym and sports goods for the youth, he declared.
The panchayats and rural development minister, who is the legislator from Fatehgarh Churian assembly seat in the border district of Gurdaspur, appealed to his constituents and others to join hands to make the constituency, the first drug-free constituency in Punjab.
“Today, I want to share my thoughts with you on a very sensitive and highly urgent matter. This is about the menace of drugs that is dominating the social media dialogue these days. Several highly concerned people have expressed their apprehension and I believe their worry is justified,” Bajwa said in a statement.
This menace must be eradicated from its roots forever, he said adding that blame game was of no use.
“Who is responsible for it? Where is it rooted? Rather than indulging in this blame game, we have to firmly join hands to root it out,” Bajwa said in the statement issued through newspaper advertisements today.
The minister claimed the main supply line of drugs or “Chitta” had been broken.
“With strong will power of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and persistent efforts of his government, the main supply line of drugs like ‘Chitta’ has been broken. Only petty peddlers are active now in supplying small quantity the ‘poison’ which also would be eradicated soon,” he said.
The 16-month old Congress government in Punjab is in a spot after a spate of deaths, allegedly due to drug overdose.
Wary of a public backlash if it fails to tackle the menace ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the state Cabinet recently recommended to the Centre to allow death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers, a move some activists dubbed a “knee-jerk” reaction.
The state government also announced mandatory dope tests for all government employees. Minister Bajwa too had earlier said he was in favour of a mandatory dope test for candidates contesting the forthcoming panchayat polls in the state. Bajwa today appealed to every panchayat to keep a watch and inform if they get information about addicts or suppliers.
Please inform me or the police if you get any information, he said.
“Every village that turns drug free would get a grant of Rs 5 lakh to purchase gym and sports goods for the youth.
Bajwa also urged the parents to keep a watch on the activities of their children and take appropriate action if they find anything suspicious.
“We must focus on our sons the way we are always concerned about the safety, dignity and honour of our daughters. We become apprehensive in case the daughter is late even by five minutes and start making queries. However, we turn careless so far as boys are concerned. We should pay the same attention to sons too,” he said.