Punjab drug suppliers to face culpable homicide charges in overdose deathstext_fields
Chandigarh: Punjab Police announced that drug suppliers in Punjab will now be charged with culpable homicide in cases of deaths due to drug overdoses.
Inspector General of Police (HQ) Sukhchain Singh Gill stated that every such death will be under scrutiny, and any drug supplier responsible for a fatal overdose will be charged under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
This decision comes in response to several instances of drug overdose deaths in the state.
In their ongoing crackdown against the drug menace, the police have seized properties worth Rs 30 crore belonging to contraband suppliers under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
The police also stated that they would take action if significant drug smugglers were granted bail due to the failure to file a charge sheet in time. Notices have been served to police officers, including deputy superintendents of police and Station House Officers, regarding such lapses. Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav has strictly instructed that there should be no case of default bail granted to drug smugglers.
Punjab Police has adopted a three-pronged strategy to eliminate the drug menace from the state, focusing on enforcement, public engagement, and demand reduction. Under the enforcement aspect, police officials have been directed to conduct operations against street peddlers and suppliers, with a special focus on pharmaceutical drugs.
Addicts found in possession of small quantities of drugs will be treated as victims and given the opportunity to rehabilitate without facing prosecution. The police plan to involve school children, college students, and NGOs to raise awareness about the harmful effects of drugs through workshops, seminars, runs, and cycle rallies.
District administrations, health, education, and sports departments will be engaged to identify users and facilitate their rehabilitation through micro-loans and skill-based activities.
In the last 14 months, the police have seized 1,400 kg of heroin across the state and recovered 147.5 kg of heroin from the ports of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
In August alone, around 240 kg of heroin was seized. The police have recovered 871.82 kg of opium, 446.30 quintals of poppy husk, and 90.59 lakh tablets, capsules, injections, and vials of pharma opioids from across the state. Cash amounting to Rs 13.96 crore was seized from 19,093 drug smugglers arrested since July 5, 2022, with 14,179 FIRs registered during this period.