Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked the anti-Punjab and anti-youth Amarinder-Arvind ‘demon duo’ to tender an honest and unconditional apology to the people of Punjab and its youth for conducting a dangerous image distortion fraud against them by branding the children of the land of the Gurus as “a generation of drug addicts”.
“The demon duo as well as their parties will have to pay heavily for this unforgivable sin which is akin to a heinous and deadly crime against our own children and younger brothers and sisters. In fact, so inseparable will the names of Amarinder and Arvind, and their circus band-master Rahul Gandhi remain on the list of the enemies of Punjab that in the popular perception they will always feature simultaneously with the leaders of the anti-Punjab ” invasion and defamation” pack.
He said that the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal launched and is carrying out a decisive war on drugs and has successfully enlisted a wide-base popular support, especially from Punjabi youth against this social evil. However the Congress and AAP entered into an unholy conspiracy to brand the entire Punjabi youth as a lost generation addicted to drugs and even funded Bollywood films to defame Punjab and Punjabi youth across the country and the world.
Badal said the anti-Punjab leaders must now disclose how they arrived at the figure of 70 per cent youth of Punjab being drug addicts. He said the campaign launched by the Congress and AAP to brand Punjabis as drug addicts was akin to the Congress campaign of the eighties which branded all Sikhs as terrorists.
The Deputy CM said the truth was that Punjab had led the nation’s war against drugs including cross border narco-terror. “If not for us drugs originating from Afghanistan would have spread across the nation. We should be congratulated for leading the fight to safeguard the nation”, he added.
Speaking about the test conducted on police recruits, he said the government took a decision in this regard to make the factual position clear before the nation. “Now the defamation campaign initiated against us stands thoroughly exposed as only 1.27 per cent of the tested Rs 3.75 lakh youth have been tested positive for drug abuse”. He said the average drug abuse in case of both opioids was much below the national average.
The Deputy Chief Minister made an appeal to the conscience of the people to beware of anti-Punjab forces that are out to belittle the holy land of Punjab for their narrow interests. He also said that the youth of Punjab are the best and the strongest in the world and also that media should present a positive picture about the scientifically proven tests conducted on the youth that participated in the police recruitment drive.
Badal also said that even after such a comprehensive drive , Arvind Kejriwal and Captain Amarinder Singh still don’t stop defaming Punjab then they should be declared as anti-Punjab, anti-youth and consigned to the political oblivion which in any case is going to be a reality after next year’s assembly elections.
Meanwhile Baba Farid Health University vice chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur, whose institution had been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the tests by the Punjab government, disclosed that the objective of the study was to identify incidence of drug use in youth. “We decided to test candidates presenting themselves for recruitment as constables. Urine samples were taken using standard USFDA approved kits at a cost of Rs three crore and 3.75 lakh persons were tested across the State”.
The vice chancellor said only 1.27 percent candidates (4501) were tested positive for drug use. He said some candidates who had used performance enhancers were given an opportunity to get themselves retested and 1672 candidates cleared the subsequent test.
Dr Raj Bahadur said what was most significant was that the incidence of drug use in youth in Punjab was less than the national, Asian and global averages. Quoting a UNODC study, the vice chancellor said the global and Asiad percentage of opiod use was 0.3 percent and the use in India was 0.7 percent. He said in comparison to this the opiod use percentage revealed in the study on police recruits was only 0.33 percent. He said similarly against global cannabis percentage use of 3.5 percent, Asiad use of 1.6 percent and national use of 3 percent, the percentage opiod use revealed in Punjab was only 0.42 percent.
The vice chancellor said this study revealed that the dubious reputation being given to Punjabi youth as drug addicts was false. “I can confidently state in my professional capacity that the statistics prove that the incidence of drug abuse in Punjab is less than national and international averages”.
Meanwhile giving details of the action taken against drug smugglers and drug trafficking, DGP Suresh Arora said Punjab had been the most effective in taking action against drug smugglers. He said 14,483 cases had been registered against drug smugglers in Punjab in 2014 which formed 31 per cent of the percentage cases nationally. He said similarly 38 per cent of all arrests and seizures under the NDPS Act were recorded in Punjab in 2013. Punjab also recorded 46 per cent of all heroin recovered in the country and 31 per cent of opium in 2014.
DGP Arora said Punjab had also freezed and forfeited properties worth Rs 227 crore of 195 smugglers after obtaining approval from the competent authority and administrator, NDPS Act, 1985. He said this was indicative of the success the State had achieved in striking out against big smugglers.
State Police Chief said Punjab had also achieved the distinction of recording the highest conviction rate against drug smugglers. He said against a conviction rate of 67 per cent in 2006, the conviction rate had jumped to 80 and 81 per cent in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The police officer said new bodies had been constituted to effectively handle drug smuggling and deaddiction. This includes creation of Punjab State Board for Deaddiction and Rehabilitation which is headed by the chief minister, Punjab, creation of a special fund under the nomenclature of Cancer and Drug Deaddiction and Rehabilitation Infrastructure Fund and creation of teams of sniffer dogs.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook