Launching a major crackdown on the drugs menace in the state, the Punjab cabinet on Saturday decided to set up a Special Task Force (STF) in the Chief Minister’s office to prepare and implement a comprehensive programme to eliminate drugs from the state, as promised by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) in its election manifesto.
It also decided to direct the State Home Department to prepare and submit a proposal, in the next cabinet meeting, for the enactment of the Confiscation of Drug Dealers Property Act by issuing an ordinance. The proposed legislation will pave the way for the authorities to confiscate the properties and assets of those found guilty of trading or dealing in drugs.
The cabinet, at its first meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh at the Punjab Bhawan here, decided to take up the elimination of drugs from the state on top priority.
It was decided that the STF would monitor, on a day-to-day basis, the measures taken or to be taken to check the supply and consumption of drugs in the state. Expressing concern at the widespread trading and consumption of drugs, especially chitta, which had destroyed an entire generation of youth in Punjab, the cabinet decided that a vigorous campaign to educate young people, and to treat and rehabilitate drug users with compassion would be initiated immediately.
It was further decided that anyone who registers himself at the District De-addiction Centers would be treated with compassion, free of cost, and no case would be registered against such persons. Instead, the State Police would take stringent action against drug dealers/peddlers to ensure that the drugs were obliterated from the state forthwith, the cabinet decided, according to an official spokesperson.