War against ‘chitta’: Bathinda villagers vow to ‘punish’ drug peddlers themselves : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Bathinda, February 25

At a time when drug addiction is on the rise, residents of Kaljharani village in the district have literally waged a war against “chitta”, a highly addictive synthetic drug. Many youngsters have died due to drug overdose in the district in the recent past and the issue had been raked up by various political parties during the recently concluded Assembly elections.

So read: Congress, Akalis’ incompetence to blame for people taking law into own hands against drug menace: AAP

No help in securing bail: Panchayat

Muktsar: After a teenager allegedly died of drug overdose at Gurusar village in Gidderbaha, the panchayat on Friday decided not to help anyone secure bail if found selling drugs. The decision was taken after villagers assembled in protest.

Irked at the sale of drugs at the village, the Kaljharani panchayat has resolved to “break the legs” of drug peddlers selling contraband in the village. Alarmed at the move, the district police have approached the villagers seeking cooperation in their fight against drugs and warning them against taking law into their own hands.

Addressing villagers, sarpanch Kamal Kaur’s husband Datinder Singh said they had decided to “punish” those peddling drugs in the village. Villagers claimed they had been forced to take law into their own hands owing to police “inaction”. “On most occasions when the police are informed about drug peddlers, the offenders are taken into custody but released after some time,” they claimed.

Bathinda SSP Amneet Kondal said: “After the issue came to my notice, DSP (Rural) Gurdeep Singh and DSP (NDPS) Satvir Singh were sent to the village. Both held a meeting with villagers and assured them of taking strict action against drug peddlers. They sought their cooperation in our fight against drugs and warned them against taking law into their hands.”

She said a notice had been issued to the Sangat police station SHO, asking him to explain why the village had taken such a decision and what action was being taken to deal with the drug menace.

As per cases registered in various police stations, 20 persons have died due to drug overdose in the past six months in Bathinda. However, sources claim the actual number could be higher than many cases went unreported.

Dr Vitull K Gupta, a social activist, said: “FIRs are registered in only a fraction of cases as most cases go unreported. It is a grave issue and the administration must step up and take remedial measures.”

#drug menace

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