Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday defended his decision on dope test for government employees and police personnel, saying such tests were also conducted in the Army, as a precautionary measure.The current situation in the state, where addicts were resorting to the use of concoctions due to scarcity and high price of drugs, had warranted such harsh steps, the Chief Minister said, while talking to mediapersons after the passing out parade at the Police Recruit Training Centre here.The pressure mounted on the drug smugglers and mafia had choked the supply lines, forcing addicts to go for concoctions, which were resulting in instantaneous deaths, the Chief Minister pointed out. The Chief Minister reiterated that as far as dope test for politicians/elected representatives was concerned, he would leave the decision to their conscience.The proposal for death sentence in the first instance of offence was also aimed at the elimination of the drug menace, Captain Amarinder Singh said in response to questions. The increase in tip-offs received by the police and the large number of youth coming to drug treatment and rehabilitation centres showed that the people were also worried about the deaths being caused by the use of concoctions by the youth and were actively joining the government’s campaign against drugs, he added.
Asked about the case against former Moga SSP Raj Jit Singh, the Chief Minister said the Punjab & Haryana High Court had already constituted an SIT to probe the matter and the report had been submitted to the court. With Raj Jit submitting his passport to the court, there was no danger of his fleeing the country, said Captain Amarinder Singh, while replying to another question.To a question on the allegations against former Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia, the Chief Minister said the SIT had submitted its report to the court and the matter was before it.Reiterating his demand for in toto implementation of the MS Swaminathan Report, Captain Amarinder Singh said the recent hike on MSP announced by the Centre was nothing but a political gimmick.The Chief Minister, in response to a question on the problem of gangsters in the state, made it clear that law and order would be maintained by his government at all costs. Many of the gangsters had already been eliminated while the rest had been warned to give up or face the consequences of their actions.Captain Amarinder Singh, who was accompanied by his cabinet colleagues, Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi and Sunder Sham Arora, and Media Advisor Raveen Thukral, said the one rank up promotion announced by him for the police department would currently encompass only rank elevation, and his government would look at finding ways to also enhance their salaries.