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Punjab to bring in law to award death penalty for drug peddlers

By Vikas

Chandigarh, July 2: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said that his government would soon bring in a law to award death penalty to those involved in drug peddling or smuggling activities. Singh said that a recommendation to bring in such a legislation has been forwarded to the Union Government.

File photo of Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

"Decided to recommend death penalty for drug peddling/smuggling. Recommendation being forwarded to Centre. Since drug peddling is destroying entire generations,it deserves exemplary punishment.I stand by my commitment for drug free Punjab," news agency ANI quoted the Punjab Chief Minister as saying.

Drug addiction is a major priblem in Punjab. According to a report, nearly 75% of Punjab's youth is addicted to some kind of substance or the other. According to Narcotics Control Bureau's reports, 50 percent of drug-related cases of the country are from Punjab alone. According to a BBC report, Punjab's proximity to Afghanistan and Pakistan has meant that it's a major transit route in the lucrative drug smuggling trade.

In March, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had sought the enactment of a law to award death penalty to drug dealers in the state. Sidhu claimed that the drug trade had spread its tentacles alarmingly during the Akali-BJP rule as several of their leaders were patronising the cartel. The minister said the Congress had implemented a multi-pronged strategy, including setting up the Special Task Force (STF), which had curbed the drug menace to a considerable extent.

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