Sanjha Morcha

Amarinder defends decision on dope test for all govt employees, cites army rules


JAHAN KHELAN (HOSHIARPUR) : Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Monday defended his decision on dope test for state government employees and police personnel, saying such tests were also conducted in the army as a precautionery measure.

HARPREET KAUR/HT■ CM Capt Amarinder Singh and DGP Suresh Arora pinning stars on the uniform of a promoted police officer at a training centre at Jahan Khelan in Hoshiarpur on Monday.

The current situation in the state, where addicts were resorting to the use of concoctions due to scarcity and high price of drugs, had warranted such harsh steps, he said, while speaking to media after the passing out parade at the Police Recruit Training Centre here.

“The pressure mounted on the drug smugglers and mafia had choked the supply lines, forcing addicts to go for concoctions, which were resulting in instantaneous deaths,” the chief minister said.

Amarinder reiterated that as far as dope test for politicians/ elected representatives was concerned, he would leave the decision to their conscience.

Replying to a question he said, the proposal for death sentence in the first instance of offence was also aimed at the elimination of the drug menace.

The state cabinet had recently recommended to the Centre to allow death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers.

The increase in tip-offs received by police and the large number of youth coming to drug treatment and rehabilitation centres showed that the people were also worried about the deaths being caused by the use of concoctions by the youth and

were actively joining the governments campaign against drugs, he added.

To a question on the allegations against former Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia, the chief minister said the SIT had submitted its report to the court and the matter was before it.

Reiterating his demand for in toto implementation of the MS Swaminathan Report, Amarinder said the recent hike on MSP announced by the Centre was nothing but a “political gimmick”.

The chief minister, further in response to a question on the

problem of gangsters in the state, made it clear that law and order would be maintained in the state at all costs.

“Many of the gangsters had already been eliminated while the rest had been warned to give up or face the consequences of their actions,” he said.