Senior lawyer and AAP member H.S. Phoolka on Monday accused Punjab ministers of being indifferent to the ground realities of drug addiction in the state.
“The problem is that these Punjab ministers are so away from ground realities. Whenever they go in public, they are always surrounded by their security guards, nobody is allowed to meet them, and so, they do not even know the truth, and neither do they want to know about it,” Phoolka told ANI.
He rejected Punjab Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani’s contention that only around one percent of the state’s youth is drug addicts and that some vested interests are trying to malign Punjab’s image.
Phoolka said: “Let me remind Mr Jyani that this is last year, a judge of the Supreme Court Justice Sikri, former High Court judge Justice Chan and five other sitting judges of the high court took out a march in Bhatinda in scorching heat in month of May to spread awareness that drug use is a rampant problem in Punjab.”
Phoolka further questioned Jyani about what vested interest could a Supreme Court judge have, adding that the march was an attempt to create awareness and find a solution to the problem of drug addiction.
“It is a deep rooted problem and to find a solution to it and make people and the public and the government aware of it (the march was carried out), and now, today, Mr Jyani to say that somebody has a vested interest now Mr Giyani what vested interest the judge of the supreme court could have,” said Phoolka.
Earlieron Monday, Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani claimed that a survey conducted in ten districts of Punjab revealed that only 1.8 percent of the population is addicted to drugs.
“We had conducted a survey in ten districts of Punjab. It shows that 1.8 percent of the population is addicted to drugs; we didn’t conduct the survey in all the 22 districts of the state,” Jyani told the media in Amritsar, during a function on International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at the Swami Vivekananda Drug De-addiction centre.
He also said that the ruling dispensation in Punjab is committed to tackle the drug menace.