Drugs blame on Punjab a ‘big conspiracy’, says Badal

Attari (Punjab), Jan 5 (IANS) Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Monday said a “big conspiracy” was being hatched against the state and Punjabis by labelling them as addicted to drugs.

Addressing the first of three protest rallies against drugs at Attari, just two km from the India-Pakistan international border checkpost, he said the propaganda on labelling Punjab as an addicted state was hatched by the Congress.

“There is a big conspiracy that I see in all this,” Badal, whois also the Shiromani Akali Dal president, told thousands who had gathered for the rally here, 30 km from Amritsar.

“The Congress is behind this whole propaganda. The Punjab government is determined to fight against the menace of drugs and also against the malicious propaganda,” he said.

“Rahul Gandhi was the first one to make the drugs allegation against Punjabis. The Congress leadership is responsible for labelling Punjab as a state addicted to drugs,” Badal said.

He said the highest seizures of drugs and the maximum arrests of those in the drugs trade were made during the tenure of the present Punjab government.

“Instead of thanking us for our campaign against drugs, we are being blamed,” Badal said.

He appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seal the entire border with Pakistan with the use of technology as the United States had done with the border with Mexico.

“This protest is not against the BSF (Border Security Force) or any other agency. We are fighting against the drugs coming from Afghanistan-Pakistan and from other states. We will continue our fight against drugs,” Badal said.

He added that drugs were transiting from Punjab and that the state was not a consumer.

“Drugs are transiting from Punjab, and are not consumed here. Heroin and other (expensive) drugs are not consumed in Punjab but in Goa and other places. Rave parties in Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Gurgaon take place openly,” Badal said.

“But no arrests are made. We are catching those running the drugs rackets and we only are being blamed for the drugs mess,” Badal said.

He pointed out that other states were encouraging cultivation and production of drugs.

“These states earn crores of rupees from drugs cultivation. This is being done openly in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other states, but no action is taken,” Badal said.

“We cannot have two laws in the country where some states encourage drugs production and Punjab is blamed. The Centre must do something about it,” Badal said.

He said Punjab Police have made arrests of those in the drugs trade in the state and several other states.

The Akali Dal is organising similar dharnas along the India-Pakistan international border in Ferozepur and Fazilka districts.