In a shocking development in the state of Punjab, 13 out of 22 police personnel were tested positive in dope tests which were conducted at Amritsar. This comes as a huge embarrassment for the state administration which has been claiming to fight the drug menace tooth and nail. Captain Amarinder Singh had earlier claimed that he would wipe out the drug menace from the state within four months of him assuming office.
22 personnel from Tarn Taran were brought to Amritsar Civil Hospital for conducting their dope tests. It must be mentioned here that the same personnel had been tested negative for the dope test conducted at two medical facilities in Tarn Taran, only proving how the administration and personnel are complicit with the health department officials to manipulate the test reports. However, the senior officials of Tarn Taran police were doubtful about the veracity of such reports, as they were sure that some of the personnel in question were hardcore drug addicts. Therefore, the personnel were brought to Amritsar for the dope test. Here, 13 of the 22 personnel tested positive, and traces of Morphine were found in their urine samples.
Earlier in September, out of 25 police personnel from Amritsar, 15 were tested positive in the dope tests. This was also an inopportune moment for the Amarinder Singh government as he clearly did not anticipate the police to be victims in the prevalent drug menace. The police, which is supposed to curb and prevent drug abuse among the citizens, being caught red-handed abusing such substances themselves is indeed a shocking development. And this is not a once-in-a-blue-moon phenomenon. Repeatedly, police personnel are being tested positively in dope tests. If the police are not immune to the drug abuse phenomenon, how can the government vouch for its eradication among the general public?
Notably, these personnel have tested positively for Morphine. With the supply of Heroin being greatly inhibited in the state, the addicts have substituted their needs with Morphine powder and syringes. “The supply of synthetic drugs like heroin has been broken and the drug smugglers have established their networks in the neighbouring states. Non-availability of synthetic drugs has compelled the drug addicts to resort to pain killers and other medicines,” Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu told India Today.
We have been regularly reporting as to how Captain Amarinder Singh has terribly failed to fulfil the most important poll promise which drove him to power. The vow to eradicate drugs from Punjab is far from reality. Data suggests that drug-related deaths have only increased post-2017. As per the figures available with the State Health Department, 15 drug overdose deaths were reported in Amritsar, 11 people died of drug overdose in Hoshiarpur, 8 died in Ludhiana, 5 each in Ferozepur and Jalandhar, and 4 each in Bathinda and Gurdaspur. Those who died of drug overdose fall in the age group of 18 to 25 years. Till September 2019, 95 deaths were reported to have taken place in the state under the Amarinder Singh government. 70 such deaths had taken place in 2018. As compared to this, 4 deaths took place in 2017 due to drug overuse, when Congress had come to power in the state. This shows that worryingly the situation has only worsened since 2017 instead of improving.
Now, with increasing reports of police jawans testing positively for drugs, the situation turns even grim. To top it all, the very fact that the police personnel had to be taken away from Tarn Taran for the dope tests to be considered true, in itself speaks volumes about the deep rot which runs in the Punjab administration, particularly the Health Department. Captain Amarinder Singh must walk the talk immediately and take stringent action against the police department, to weed out drug addicts our from the force. Only then can he turn his eye to the public.