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Punjab CM Amarinder Singh asks STF to go all out against drugs

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Published: March 27, 2017 8:41:06 PM

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today asked the newly-constituted STF to go all out to wipe out the drugs scourge within the stipulated time of four weeks and not spare anyone found complicit in the trade.

Amarinder Singh, Harpreet Sidhu, Punjab, STF, CRPF, IPS, Naxal Operationshe Chief Minister gave a free hand to Sidhu to take all measures he deemed fit to rid the state of the menace which has destroyed a whole generation of Punjab?s youth under the erstwhile Badal regime, according to an official statement.(PTI)

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today asked the newly-constituted STF to go all out to wipe out the drugs scourge within the stipulated time of four weeks and not spare anyone found complicit in the trade. The Special Task Force (STF) is headed by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Harpreet Sidhu. The Chief Minister gave a free hand to Sidhu to take all measures he deemed fit to rid the state of the menace which has destroyed a whole generation of Punjab’s youth under the erstwhile Badal regime, according to an official statement.

“The Chief Minister will, however, personally monitor the progress of the STF on a day-to-day basis to ensure that his government fulfils the drugs eradication promise within the four-week time-frame,” it said. Sidhu formally took charge of the STF on Monday with a vow to deliver on the government’s promise. A 1992 batch IPS officer, he was engaged in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh, where he was on CRPF deputation, before being called in to head the anti-drugs STF in Punjab.

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He was the recipient of the President’s Medal for Gallantry Services in 2003.

The STF has been mandated with the task of day-to-day monitoring of the steps taken or to be taken to check the trading and consumption of drugs, particularly ‘chitta’ (synthetic drugs), in the state.

“Directing the STF to deal with the menace of drugs with an iron fist, the Chief Minister told a meeting of the top police brass, led by Sidhu, that his government was committed to fulfilling its poll promise of wiping out the problem within four weeks and would not tolerate any laxity in the matter,” the statement released by the Chief Minister’s Office added.

The STF has also been asked to take public help in identifying and arresting the traders and suppliers of drugs in the state.

“A 24×7 helpline service is in place and anyone can call on ‘181’ to report any drugs related incident with total protection of his identity,” it said.

“Stringent punishment should be initiated against those found engaged in the drugs business without any leniency, the Chief Minister has directed the STF, warning of strict action against anyone found guilty of shielding the drug mafia or protecting the drugs dealers/traders in any manner,” the release said.

The decision to constitute the STF was taken by the Amarinder Singh government during the meeting of his cabinet, two days after taking over the reins of the state.

The cabinet had also directed the State Home Department to submit a proposal, at its next meeting, for issuing an ordinance for Confiscation of Drug Dealers’ Property, as promised in the Congress election manifesto.

The Cabinet had further decided on stringent and exemplary action for peddlers and traders, while treating drugs users with compassion and ensuring their rehabilitation.

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