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Curbing drug trade an uphill task for Ludhiana administration

At least 100 sites identified in Ludhiana district | 361 cases under NDPS Act registered this year

Ludhiana, November 16

With the police confirming at least 100 hotspots for drug trade in Ludhiana, it is evident that curbing the menace in the district is an uphill task for the administration.

The seizures this year included 29.23-kg opium, 6.71-quintal poppy husk, 2.79-kg charas, 14-gm smack, 5.97-quintal ganja, 4.65-kg heroine, 6-gm ice or party drug, 3.56-kg narcotic powder, 60,937 intoxicant pills and capsules and 20 intoxicant injections seized from 492 peddlers and smugglers caught in 361 cases registered under the NDPS Act.

Besides the city area, the figure includes rural areas, which have been identified by the police. The police said not only the seizure of drugs, but the number of arrests and the NDPS cases this year were the highest in the past five years.

The Tribune team took a trip to different places in the district and came in direct contact with persons supplying ‘chitta’. The standard dialogues were: “Money first, stock later”, “Pay advance, delivery tomorrow”, “Cops are on prowl, can’t take risk”, “Presently out of stock, will supply soon” and “No phone number, only direct talk”.

The identification was done under the special drive launched by the district administration to identify and reform the drug addicts besides catching the peddlers at the grass-roots level in a bid to make Ludhiana a drug-free district. The move seems to have had an impact, since last month, as peddlers have gone underground or shifted to other areas.

“About a fortnight ago, ‘chitta’(synthetic drug) was available in the open here. Peddlers seem to have shifted their base as it is usually quiet these days,” Sunita, a resident of Ghora Colony in Moti Nagar of Ludhiana East, said. Satish, a tea vendor at Bazigar Basti in Kadiana, said a very large number of youngsters in our locality were hooked to drugs.

“We thought we have lost everything after my son started takings drugs about 10 years back. We have seen many lives ruined in our locality. He is a little off drugs these days. We have admitted him in a de-addiction centre,” shared a wailing mother, Manpreet Kaur, of Chitti Colony in Ludhiana West.

“We have barred all shopkeepers in our village from stocking and selling any intoxicant or tobacco item, including cigarettes, while resolving to take strict action, besides imposing heavy fine on those found selling or consuming such items,” the sarpanch of Jassowal Khurd village, Gurmeet Kaur, said.

Deputy Commissioner Surabhi Malik said the SDMs were assigned nodal officers for their respective subdivision to act as conduit and overall in-charge of the campaign. Khanna Additional Deputy Commissioner Amarjit Bains said factors such as the number of cases registered under the NDPS Act, drug addicts’ concentration in the area and drug-related complaints received were taken into consideration to mark the village or area as a drug hotspot.

“These have been identified on the basis of mixed criteria of objective and subjective nature,” he said, while adding that the hotspots were also of varying degrees with some facing serious problems and others less.

While a maximum of 28 drug hotspots were identified in Ludhiana East subdivision, another urban subdivision of Ludhiana West has 27 drug hotspots. Among others, 12 drug hotspots were marked in Jagraon, 11 in Payal, nine in Samrala, six in Raikot and three in Khanna subdivision.

NCB seizes 20 kg of heroin from Dugri

  • A special team of the Narcotics Control Bureau conducted a raid at Dugri canal bridge on Tuesday evening and seized 20-kg heroin
  • The arrested person has been identified as Sandeep Singh, a resident of Janta Nagar. The NCB also seized Rs 5.50 lakh cash, 17-gm opium, two live cartridges and 300 Dirham from him
  • Sources said Sandeep was to deliver the consignment to some Akshay Chabra, who is at large in the case

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