For the past two weeks, Udta Punjab has been flying high on controversy. The film, due for release on June 17, is based on the drug problem in Punjab. The movie, with the ongoing controversy, has managed to gauge attention of the masses on a topic which everyone knows but doesn’t like to talk about – the drug menace in Punjab.
Starting today, we bring you a series on the Narco war. This is Part 1 of the series.
In an Indian Express investigation report on Wednesday, a shocking revelation has come to the forefront. 14,483 FIRs were filed in Punjab under Narcotic Drugs Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act from January 1 to December 31, 2014 in 152 police stations that fall under 14 of the 28 police districts in Punjab.
9,699 cases had been registered in 2015 according to latest figures available until November 30. 24 accused facing trial under NDPS Act died in various Punjab jails.
Not just this, 39,600.39 kg of poppy husk, 570.89 kg of Chitta (a powdered mix of heroin, or smack, or a combination of pain killers), 202.4 kg of heroin and 163.74 kg of opium was seized from 14 police districts in Punjab.
The investigative team visited Boot, a veritable groud Zero of addiction with 47 FIRs registered under the NDPS Act in one year, the most from a single village in Punjab, according to records assessed by The Indian Express.
On the edge of Kapurthala, Boot is the grey that lies between the black and white police story of a crackdown that has ‘eradicated drugs from this village.’
You would be wondering what could be more shocking than these figures, but the worse part is yet to come. Express, knocked on the doors of atleast 10 families whose members were named in those 47 FIRs, and who are either still in jail or out on bail.
The police, the local people are not surprised there as they are habitual to such state.
(Figures based on FIRs filed in 2014 and made available to The Indian Express under the RTI Act in 2015)