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Punjab

Posted at: Oct 9, 2019, 7:03 AM; last updated: Oct 9, 2019, 7:03 AM (IST)

Drugs figure in speeches only, action missing

Harshraj Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 8

Even as the Congress government had promised to rid the state of drug menace in four weeks after forming the government, the issue continues to haunt residents, especially in Bet areas (near Sutlej river bank), of the Dakha constituency. Locals claim that drugs are still being openly supplied by the peddlers.

With the byelection scheduled for October 21, some candidates are again making promises to the villagers to eradicate the menace, if elected. The drugs menace was a major poll issue in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014 and later in the Vidhan Sabha elections of 2017. Now, even after Lok Sabha polls of 2019, the issue is still a major concern for people in the area.

A 33-year-old addict allegedly died after injecting chitta near Kul Gehna village around two months ago. One of his family members said, “Drugs are easily available despite government’s claims of having plugged the supply chain.”

Comrade Baljeet Singh of Gorsian Khan Mohammad village said, “There is no actual data of drug deaths as the postmortem of the addicts is often not done. Even the families avoids getting the autopsy done. Chitta has claimed the life of at least seven youngsters in Bet areas this year. The government had earlier assured to eradicate the drugs, but no concrete measures are being taken to stop this.”

“On the day of polling for the Lok Sabha elections, a youngster of a nearby village had died soon after injecting drugs into his veins. The menace continues to haunt the people in areas near the Sutlej as there is no check on peddlers,” he claimed.

In a village near the site where Buddha Nullah meets the Sutlej, a youth claimed, “Addiction has brought a bad name to our village. All youths are seen as suspects. Once I went to take a test for a government job. My dope test was done twice when I revealed the name of my village.”

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