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Punjab's Drug Crackdown: Targeting Traffickers



  Sep 12, 2023

Crackdown on Drugs in Punjab: Targeting Big Traffickers


Introduction: The Punjab government's ambitious campaign to eliminate drug addiction in the state within a year is showing signs of progress. Law enforcement authorities are shifting their focus from targeting small-scale peddlers to cracking down on major drug traffickers responsible for smuggling large quantities of contraband. This shift in strategy, along with the challenges posed by cross-border drug smuggling, is discussed in this analysis.
 
1. Multi-Pronged Strategy: Punjab police have adopted a multi-pronged strategy to apprehend significant drug traffickers. This approach aims to disrupt the drug supply chain and dismantle organized networks responsible for trafficking psychotropic and narcotic substances.
 
2. Cross-Border Smuggling: Cross-border drug smuggling remains a significant challenge, particularly along the Pakistan border. Smugglers have exploited new routes, such as the Sutlej river, following heavy monsoon rainfall. This has resulted in increased drug flow into Punjab, with Pakistani carriers swimming across the border with larger quantities of drugs.
 
3. Law Enforcement Success: The Special Services Operation Cell of the Counter-Intelligence Wing of the Punjab Police has achieved significant success in recent months, seizing 147 kg of heroin from smugglers apprehended in the Fazilka district alone. The effectiveness of this drive depends on extracting valuable information from arrested suspects to identify and apprehend kingpins.
 
4. Insider Links: Despite these successes, a senior police officer's recent letter alleging links between lower-level police officials and drug smugglers highlights the need for further action. Compromised officials must be held accountable to achieve the government's goal of eradicating drug addiction in the state.
 
5. Rehabilitation Approach: Shifting the state's strategy to focus on rehabilitating youths found in possession of small quantities of drugs rather than pursuing criminal charges is a humane and pragmatic way to address the drug menace. This approach recognizes the need for rehabilitation and support for individuals struggling with addiction.
 
Conclusion: Punjab's campaign to eliminate drug addiction is making headway by targeting major traffickers and adopting a more compassionate approach toward individuals with drug-related issues. However, addressing cross-border smuggling and rooting out corruption within law enforcement agencies remain critical challenges in achieving the state's objective of a drug-free Punjab.


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