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DECISIVE WAR AGAINST DRUGS: PUNJAB POLICE NABS THOSE POs/ABSCONDERS WHO WERE EVADING ARREST SINCE 1980s &1990s

CHANDIGARH, August 16:

          With the special drive launched on the directions of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to arrest Proclaimed offenders (POs)/absconders in NDPS Act cases has entered the 7th week, the weekly arrests of POs/absconders have witnessed a significant surge as Punjab Police has managed to arrest as many as 45 such POs/absconders in last one week. So far, a total of 186 POs/Absconders in NDPS Act cases— including 46 nabbed from out of state, have been arrested since July 5, 2022.

          Divulging details, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Headquarters Sukhchain Singh Gill said that the Police teams have even managed to arrest those POs/absconders in NDPS act, who have been evading arrest since the 1980s and 1990s.

          Citing instances, he said that Gurdeep Singh alias Kaku of Kotla Hoshiarpur, who was declared PO in November 1985, has been arrested by the Ludhiana Commissionerate Police, Amarjit Singh, a PO from 1988 has been arrested by Fatehgarh Sahib Police and Mohinder Singh of village Dabalkheri in Haryana, who was declared PO in 1989, has been arrested by Sangrur Police. Similarly, at least three nabbed POs are those, who have been evading arrest since the 1990s, he added.

          Giving weekly updates on drugs, the IGP said that Punjab Police have arrested 335 drug smugglers/suppliers after registering 251 first information reports (FIRs), including 22 commercial, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) act across the state in the last one week.

          The Police have also recovered 9.76Kg Heroin, 8.68Kg opium, 11.56Kg Ganja, nine quintals of poppy husk, and 49k tablets/capsules/injections/vials of Pharma opioids besides recovering Rs 40.50 lakh drug money after carrying out cordon and search operations in drug-affected areas beside laying nakas at vulnerable routes across the state, he said.

          IGP Sukhchain Singh Gill said that the Punjab Police besides tightening the noose around the drug smugglers/suppliers has also been doing all the possible efforts to keep youth away from drugs and helping to rehabilitate those who have already fallen prey to this menace. He said that all the CPs/SSPs have been conducting different activities including public meetings, visiting drug-affected villages, conducting seminars, holding joint meetings with MLAs, Sarpanches, and Councillors besides involving NGOs and Youth Clubs to work against drugs in their respective districts to sensitize the youth about the harmful and ill-effects of drugs.

          Meanwhile, the DGP has strictly ordered all the CPs/SSPs to further tighten the noose around the drug smugglers by identifying all top drug smugglers and the hotspots infamous for drug smuggling in their jurisdictions and launching a combing operation to nab all those selling/smuggling drugs. He also directed the Police chiefs to effectively forfeit the property of all the arrested drug smugglers so that their ill-gotten money could be recovered.

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