IEP Chandigarh, December 12
With the decisive war against drugs waged on the directions of Chief Minister Punjab Bhagwant Mann to root out the menace of drugs entered sixth month, Punjab Police have arrested as many as 8755 drug smugglers including 1244 big fish since July 5, 2022. The Police have registered a total of 6667 first information reports (FIRs) of which 746 are related to commercial quantity. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Headquarters Sukhchain Singh Gill, who was addressing his weekly Press Conference here on Monday said that the Police teams have recovered 325.55-Kg Heroin from across the state after carrying out cordon and search operations in drug-affected areas besides laying nakas at vulnerable routes across the state. Additionally, 147.5-Kg heroin was recovered by the teams of Punjab Police from Seaports of Gujarat and Maharashtra, taking the total effective recovery of heroin to 473.05-Kgs in just five months, he said. Apart from seizing big-haul of heroin, the IGP said that Police have also recovered 350-Kg opium, 355-Kg Ganja, 211 quintals of poppy husk, and 28.96 lakhs tablets/capsules/injections/vials of Pharma opioids from across the state. The Police have also recovered Rs 5.80 crores of drug money from the possession of drug smugglers arrested in these five months. He said that the Punjab Police teams in coordination with the Border Security Force (BSF) have dealt a major blow to the cross-border smuggling after recovering 15.34-Kg heroin dropped via drones in just a week. The police have also recovered four drones. Notably, a hexacopter drone carrying six packets of heroin, weighing 6.68 kg, was recovered in the jurisdiction of Border Outpost (BOP) Harbhajan in Khemkaran on November 29. On the very next day, a broken quadcopter drone was recovered from the area of village Van Tara Singh in Khalra. Similarly, another hexacopter drone carrying five packets of heroin, weighing 5.60 kg, was recovered from the Khemkaran area in Tarn Taran on December 2, while, a Quadcopter drone loaded with three packets of heroin, weighing 3.06Kg, was recovered from area of Border Outpost (BOP) Kalia in Tarn Taran on the next intervening night. The IGP said that the follow-up investigations into the recovery of 13kg heroin from two Rajasthan-based drug smugglers from Amritsar on November 21 further led to arrest of their two aides and based on their interrogation, the police teams with support of BSF, later recovered 10 AK-47 assault rifles and 10 foreign made .30 bore pistols from border area of Ferozepur. Giving weekly update, the IGP said that in last one week, the police have arrested 247 drug smugglers/suppliers after registering 197 first information reports (FIRs), including 21 commercial, and recovered 45.55-Kg Heroin, 16.62-Kg opium, 4.80-Kg Ganja, 3.60 quintals of poppy husk, and 28305 tablets/capsules/injections/vials of Pharma opioids besides recovering Rs 55.25 lakh drug money from their possession. He said that with 15 more Proclaimed Offenders (POs)/Absconders in NDPS cases arrested in the last one week, the total number of arrests reached 562 since the special drive to arrest POs/absconders was started on July 5, 2022. Pertinently, Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab Gaurav Yadav had given strict instructions to all the CPs/SSPs to investigate backward and forward linkages minutely in each and every case, especially related to drug recoveries, even if they recover a meager amount of drugs. Meanwhile, on the direction of Chief Minister Punjab Bhagwant Mann to make Punjab a drug-free state, extensive anti-drug drives have been launched by the Punjab Police to combat the menace of drugs from the border State. The DGP has also strictly ordered all the CPs/SSPs to identify all hotspots where drugs are prevalent and all top drug smugglers in their jurisdictions. He also directed the Police chiefs to effectively forfeit the property of all the arrested drug smugglers so that their ill-gotten money could be recovered.
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