Chandigarh: The Punjab government has decided to restructure the Special Task Force (STF) on Drugs as an independent and autonomous vertical in the Department of Police, with dedicated personnel and resources.
This was announced today in the Vidhan Sabha by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh while replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address.
The move was aimed at further strengthening the STF, which had already achieved major successes in battling against the drugs menace, said the Chief Minister, reiterating his government’s zero tolerance to drugs and lambasting Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira for trying to garner cheap publicity on the issue.
Between March 16, 2017 and March 13, 2018, the STF had registered 13,892 cases under the NDPS Act, with as many as 15,835 persons arrested and Rs 1,86,49,053 + GBP 3550 seized in drug money, he disclosed.
In terms of seizures, the Chief Minister said 303.18 kg of Heroin, 13.49 kg of Smack, 96.13 kg of Charas, 956.33 kg of Opium, 44,312 kg of Poppy Husk and 4.03 kg of Methamphetamine (ice) had been recovered in the same period.
The Chief Minister pointed out that a new legislation on Confiscation of Property of Drug Peddlers has already been passed and sent to Government of India for Presidential assent.
Further, in another initiative to eliminate drugs completely from the state, the government had launched an elaborate drug prevention programme titled as ‘Drug Abuse Prevention Officers’ (DAPO) Programme’ on the martyrdom day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, observing it as ‘Youth Empowerment Day’. He pointed out that 4.25 lakh took oath that day, to not take or allow use of drugs in their respective houses and neighbourhood, and expressed the confidence that the chain of volunteers would continue to grow.