To fight drugs, Punjab wants death for dealers
Chandigarh: Jolted by the public outcry over a spate of drug overdose deaths in the state, the Punjab Cabinet, that met under Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday, decided to recommend to the Union Government death penalty for drug peddlers at the first instance. This provision already exists in the NDPS Act for those held guilty for the second time. A formal note suggesting an amendment to the NDPS Act will be sent to the Centre soon. Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu reportedly expressed concern at the growing perception that the government had failed to eliminate the drug menace as well as instances of “dubious” police role.The Cabinet decided to constitute a special working group under ACS (Home) NS Kalsi to daily monitor the measures taken to check drug abuse. The group will have ACS (Health) Satish Chandra, DGP (Law and Order) Ishwar Singh, DGP (Intelligence) Dinkar Gupta and ADGP (STF) HS Sidhu as members. Also, a sub-committee, comprising the CM, Health and Family Welfare Minister and Social Security Minister, will meet once a week to assess the anti-drug drive.Prior to the meeting, senior Home Department and Punjab Police officers briefed the Cabinet members and PPCC president Sunil Jakhar.