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CHANDIGARH: With Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann-led Punjab Government has been focusing on bringing the people trapped in vicious drug menace back into the mainstream, more drug consumers are coming forward to avail the provision of section 64-A of the NDPS act by pledging to undergo the rehabilitation treatment, said Inspector General of Police (IGP) Headquarters Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill here on Tuesday. 

“In just 20 days, the Hon’ble Court has confirmed 237 cases where the order has been passed under section 64-A NDPS act, and as many as 282 drug consumers have been undergoing the treatment of de-addiction and rehabilitation,” he said.

Pertinently, the state government has enforced a three-pronged strategy— Enforcement, Prevention and Rehabilitation— to eradicate drugs from the state. As part of the strategy, the Punjab Police has been promoting and creating awareness about section 64-A of the NDPS act, which provides an opportunity to a drug consumer—caught with a few grams of heroin or narcotic powder— for rehabilitation.

The IGP, however, said that the crackdown against big drug smugglers is also ongoing, with Punjab Police arresting 141 drug smugglers/suppliers including 31 big fish after registering 109 first information reports (FIRs) in the last week, and recovering 19.4-Kg Heroin, 8.3-Kg opium, 25.23 quintals of poppy husk, and 4201 tablets/capsules/injections/vials of Pharma opioids besides recovering Rs 1.40 lakh drug money from their possession.

He said that with six more Proclaimed Offenders (POs)/Absconders in NDPS cases arrested in the last one week, the total number of arrests reached 1260 since the special drive to arrest POs/absconders was started on July 5, 2022.

Giving details on disposing-off drugs under the NDPS act from January 1, 2024, to January 15, 2024, IGP Sukhchain Gill said that different field and special units of Punjab Police have destroyed over 523Kg heroin, 79.92 quintals of Poppy Husk, 298Kg Ganja and 17.57 lakh narcotic pills/capsules under the supervision of High-Level Drug Disposal Committees of contraband by burning them in a incinerators following proper procedure. 

He said that Punjab Police have also forfeited 263 properties worth Rs 111 crores of big smugglers since the formation of the government, while, 9 more proposals to forfeit properties worth Rs 3.60 crores are pending with the competent authority.

Apart from this, IGP Sukhchain Singh Gill said that the Punjab Police have not been leaving any stone unturned to improve the law and order situation in the state. 

The Anti-Gangster Task Force (AGTF), since its formation on April 6, 2022, has succeeded in busting 312 gangster/criminal modules after arresting 951 gangsters/criminals and neutralising 10, after 963 weapons and 208 vehicles used in criminal activities, he said.

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