Punjab Guv Says Drugs Have Entered Schools, Asks AAP Govt to Seek Centre’s Help

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday called the drug menace a major concern for the state, saying drugs have permeated into schools too and asked the AAP government to seek the Centre’s help to check the menace.

The governor, who is on a two-day tour of Punjab’s border villages beginning Wednesday, said villagers say drugs are available like grocery items at general stores. Purohit said there is a need to improve security in jails as criminals are running rackets sitting inside and pulling up the authorities concerned while pointing out how do mobile phones seized from prisons reach there.

He was interacting with media in Pathankot and Amritsar on the sidelines of his visit during which he was accompanied by Chief Secretary VK Janjua and Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav.

On drug scourge, the governor said, “It is a matter of worry. It is not the question of adults only. Drugs have entered schools and children are getting addicted. Parents are feeling helpless. “Some children get addicted to the extent that they start stealing in their homes and we are getting several complaints in this regard. They get trapped in clutches of gangs who are dominating,” Purohit said.

He said the state government has a responsibility and if they need help from the Centre they must seek it to control the menace. “This should not be taken lightly, we have to stop it at all costs,” he added.

Expressing concern, he said, “Had it been a small thing, would I have been going and touring districts”.

“I say this on their face that the police department is also affected. The jails are not in their control. There is a need for a lot of improvement. They put them (criminals) in jails and from there they control the mafia…,” he said.

The governor also asked DGP Yadav to remove the “black sheep” from the police department who are having connivance with drug peddlers.

With the governor and the Aam Aadmi Party government being involved in a squabble in the past over some issues, Purohit, in response to a question, said, “Tell me a single example if I have told anything to the government which is not according to the Constitution”.

“To protect Constitution, under which I have taken the oath, is the governor’s responsibility. If any work is not according to Constitution, then I tell the government you are doing wrong. Is anything wrong with that? Is this politics?” he asked.

During his two-day programme, the governor is visiting Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Fazilka, and Ferozepur during which he will interact with sarpanches and other prominent local residents of the districts and take feedback from people on problems being faced by them.

On the drug issue, the governor said, “Situation is such that if we go to villages, villagers say drugs are available like grocery items at general stores”.

Police may not be knowing but villagers know everything, he said.

Drug flow in the state is an issue of national security, creating a threat to the nation’s peace, he said. “I met a school principal who told me that drugs are available in the village as toothpaste in all the grocery shops. It’s a failure of the police department if drug circulation is not stopped forthwith,” he said.

The governor also held meetings with the BSF, Army, Punjab Police, and other agencies and got first-hand inputs about drug smuggling from Pakistan.

“Time has come for us to come out from the deep slumber to face drug challenges, otherwise everything would be destroyed. Are we going to leave a crippled generation?” he asked.

The governor clarified that the objective of his visit is not to blame anyone, but make people understand and aware of the situation.

He said Pakistan was using drugs in its proxy war against India and carrying out the smuggling of contraband through drones. “Pakistan cannot dare to fight us directly, so using drones and smuggling they are sending these things here,” he said.

The governor said that people of border areas need to be aware and wary of designs of inimical forces. The governor had in September last year visited border areas and at that time too he had expressed concern over the drug menace.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)