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Punjab Government Proposes Death Penalty For Drug Peddlers, Smugglers

Chandigarh : With the opposition mounting pressure on the Congress government to take action against rampant drugs abuse in the state, the Punjab cabinet on Monday decided to recommend death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers to the Central government.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who chaired the special meeting of the cabinet on Monday to discuss the drugs issue, directed Director General of Police Suresh Arora to intensify the police crackdown on the drug menace.

The decision to recommend death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers was taken at the cabinet meeting, and it was resolved to send a formal recommendation soon to the Union Government to this effect, an official spokesperson said here.

"The cabinet also decided to constitute a special working group under the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, N.S. Kalsi to review and monitor, on a day-to-day basis, the action being taken to check and control drug abuse," the spokesperson said.

The cabinet took stock of the cases of deaths resulting from drug overdose, which Special Task Force (STF) chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu admitted to be a matter of concern.

Citing data relating to arrests and seizures under the NDPS Act, the DGP pointed out that there had been a sharp increase in the figures since the present government took over.

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