Punjab Police ex-chief alleges politicians-drug mafia nexus

Chandigarh, Sep 18 (IANS) A former Punjab Police chief has alleged that politicians were involved with the drug mafia operating in the state, but Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Wednesday said the police chief took no action when serving.

Former police chief Shashi Kant said that he submitted a list of politicians with suspected drug mafia links to the Punjab and Haryana High Court after his earlier letter was admitted as a public interest litigation.

He alleged he had also submitted a list of suspected politicians to the state government six years back, in which names of leaders of the Akali Dal, Congress and BJP figured.

But no action was taken on his report, Shashi Kant said. He, however, refused to make any names public.

In a separate development, the state government inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) to curb the drugs menace in the state.

A spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said that the MoU was signed by UNDOC regional representative Cristina Albertin and Principal Secretary for Home Affairs and Justice D.S. Bains for initiating joint drug control efforts.

Badal was present on the occasion.

Asked about Shashi Kant's allegations, Badal said the former police chief took no action when he was serving.

"The state government is fully committed to launch a big war against drugs and seeks serious involvement of UNDOC in weeding out the drugs menace from the state," Badal said after the MoU was signed.

Till early 2012, Punjab alone accounted for 60 percent - roughly Rs.900 crore - of the total drugs seized in the country in a six-month period.

The total drugs seizure in the state in recent years is much higher with multiple agencies like the Border Security Force, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, customs department, anti-narcotics cell of Punjab Police and others involved in the recovery process.

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