New Delhi, June 13: Three months after the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP dispensation was thrown out by voters in Punjab largely over the drug menace, not much has changed on the ground, a latest TV sting showed.
Captain Amarinder Singh of the Congress had sailed to power on the promise of weeding out drugs from Punjab within a month.
But around 90 days later, a CNN News18 sting showed that drugs and the peddlers continue to thrive in the hinterland of Punjab, at least in the districts close to the international border.
Using a reformed drug addict as their conduit, the team managed to capture two drug peddlers on camera — Gurudev and Baaju — while another dealer, Shinder, backed out at the last moment and evaded the camera, according to the TV channel.
Gurudev is a truck driver and a mobile drug shop. He takes orders on phone and delivers products. Baaju is the big fish of Patti, from a small dose to a gram to much more, he is always there with the supplies.
Striking the deal was rather easy. The conduit called Baaju and asked him for ‘Chitta’ (heroin). Baaju told him to come to the railway station. There he assured the conduit of as much quantity as required, provided he makes the payment on time.
The next man caught on the camera was Gurudev, the roaming peddler. He invited the conduit to his truck and treated him to “lassi”. Later, after taking the money, he went out to get the promised drug.
The team, while travelling through the state, noticed that prescription drugs are difficult to get. The police crackdown in the cities did have some impact but it is still a far cry from the complete annihilation of drugs promised by Captain Amarinder Singh.
Almost two-third of Punjab’s households have at least one addict in the family. The state has 836 drug users per 1,00,000 people as per the findings of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment — a figure way above the national average of 250 drug users per 1,00,000 people.