Taking a strong note of the reports that the Punjab Police officials were harassing drug addicts and were registering false cases against them, the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday directed the police not to harass the addicts.
'Calling for a humane approach to deal with the victims to enable their eventual rehabilitation and integration into the mainstream of the society, directions have been issued to the police by the Chief Minister not to harass the victims in any way and not to enter the drug de-addiction centres to question patients,' a state government spokesperson said.
Captain has also urged the people not to take law into their hands by lynching the drug smugglers and paddlers. Some incidents were reported in the state during the last week when the locals caught the drug peddlers and beat them up before they were finally handed over to the police.
Meanwhile, Captain's offer to treat the drug addicts free of cost has increased footfalls at the drug de-addiction centres, Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Centres in particular. The number of patients, which was 2345 in June has gone upto 6673 now. The state government expects more patients in the centres during the next week.
He has also exhorted the victims and their families not to shy away from approaching the de-addiction, treatment and rehabilitation centres for help. Health department officials have been directed to make adequate arrangements to meet the rush.