Former Haryana CM Hooda says 7 deaths in 15 days due to ‘drug overdose’ in Sirsa

Former Haryana Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, on Thursday expressed deep concern over the “increasing use of drugs and intoxicants in Haryana” and stated that as many as seven deaths had taken place in Sirsa district in the past 15 days because of “overdose” .

Hooda claimed that the youths of the state were constantly getting caught in the grip of drugs and crime, even as the BJP-JJP government continued being mute spectators.

Sirsa Superintendent of Police (SP), Dr Arpit Jain, however, said there are multiple reasons behind the deaths that have taken place. He said that the police lodged FIRs under section 304 of the IPC as some of these deaths may have been caused by a negligent act. Jain said, “The exact cause of death could not be ascertained in autopsies and we are getting the visceras examined. They had been suffering from some disease or the other for a long time.

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Whenever police intensify action against drug-peddlers, there is a need for de-addiction and rehabilitation of those who habitually consume drugs. If addicts don’t get their fix of intoxicants, then they opt for alternative injections or medicines to fulfill their urge. I held a meeting with officials on Thursday and asked them to engage the society in the campaign against drugs. We have already held nearly 1,000 awareness programs in villages.”

The SP further said, “The police will further intensify its drive against pedestrians. In the past ten months, we have arrested over 700 persons and lodged more than 400 FIRs. The property of two big drug dealers have been attached and we have informed the Enforcement Directorate about these two cases. We have conducted checkings at 4,000-5,000 houses during the past ten months to weed out the drug-peddlers and drug mafia.”

Leader of Opposition, Bhupinder Hooda, however, refused to dial down the rhetoric and continued targeting the Haryana government for failure to curb the menace.

“Even small children are ruining their lives by falling prey to drugs. In Sirsa, during the last 8 years, more than 1.25 lakh people have visited the civil hospital for de-addiction. This is only the figure that has come to the fore. Many drug addicts do not come out of fear or shame. They are slowly being consumed by this silent epidemic.”

Hooda said not only in Sirsa, in cities of Fatehabad, Kaithal, Jind, Ambala, Hisar, Rohtak, Gurgaon too, the menace of addiction was spreading in a worrying manner. “Many government reports state that the situation has gone out of hand. Earlier, the NCRB report had revealed that Haryana has overtaken Punjab in deaths due to drug overdose. In the matter of narcotics, Haryana has overtaken many other big states,” he said.

He further alleged that the liquor scam during the lockdown and the subsequent “cover-up” the whole matter made it clear that those dealing with intoxicants have the “protection of the government”. “This illegal business could not have flourished so much without the protection of the government. If these allegations are false then why is the government not taking action against drug dealers and scamsters,” he questioned.

“During our government, thousands of sportsperson were given government jobs, sports quota benefits and incentives were given to thousands of players. Due to this Haryana became number one in sports. During the Congress tenure, lakhs of jobs were given and industrial development was done at a rapid pace so that unemployment could be eradicated in the state,” he said.

“Haryana had left many states behind in terms of per capita income, per capita investment and employment generation. This was because the government believed that generating employment was critical to stopping the youth away from drugs and crime. Today, however, unemployment is at its peak in Haryana and this has pushed us into a position where intoxication is also completely out of control,” he added.

Hooda called upon all the parents to pay special attention to their children because when the government becomes a “silent spectator”, the responsibility of the family increases.

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