Sikh body demands tobacco-free Amritsar

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New Delhi, Sep 21 (UNI) A Sikh body has appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare the holy city of Amritsar, tobacco-free on the pattern of Chandigarh and set up a special fund to eradicate drug abuse.

In a memorandum sent to the Prime Minister through the Amritsar deputy commissioner after holding '' Anti-tobacco and Anti-Drugs '' march in the city of the Golden Temple yesterday, the Khalsa Action Committee also urged Dr Singh to set up a national task force to stop drug trafficking along the international border of Punjab.

The Sikh panel also sought a special study into the role of pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies in spreading drug abuse.

Giving an illustration, it said the small border town of Bhikhiwind in Amritsar district had 64 chemist shops and alleged that they were selling prescription drugs in connivance with drug inspectors,police, administration and politicians. Bogus pharma companies in Delhi and Gurgaon manufacture fake drugs which are then sold in bulk in Punjab without any bills or prescriptions in clear violation of the Drug and Cosmetics Act, the panel alleged.

The Committee further alleged that smack from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka reached Punjab and this along with manufactured drugs threatened to swallow the younger generation.

It demanded aban on smoking scenes in films and enforcement of measures to curb drug abuse.


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