CMs of northern states to meet on July 25, drug menace on agenda

Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22

The Chief Ministers and advisers of seven northern states and Union Territory of Chandigarh will meet on July 25 here in a first-of-its-kind meeting on combating the menace of drugs jointly.

The CMs of all states barring Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal have confirmed their participation. The meeting follows a couple of earlier meetings between Punjab and Haryana CMs and DGPs to chalk out a comprehensive strategy on checking the flow of drugs and movement of smugglers.

The CMs who have confirmed participation are Ashok Gehlot (Rajasthan), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), Jai Ram Thakur (Himachal Pradesh) and Trivendra Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand), besides advisers to the Governors of J&K and UT Chandigarh.

Officials said Kejriwal was likely to attend, but a confirmation was awaited. The meeting would be unique, as the CMs belong to different parties. While Rajasthan and Punjab have Congress government, Haryana, HP and Uttarakhand have the BJP in power and J&K is under the President’s rule.

Police sources said the meeting was important as a particular drug was flowing from one state to another and vice-versa. Drugs smuggled into Punjab from J&K, Rajasthan besides across the border from Pakistan are making way to Delhi and beyond. Habit-forming drugs are making way to Jammu from Punjab. While Cannabis from HP has a market in Punjab, most infamous drug “chitta” is now smuggled to Himachal villages along the Punjab border.

Delhi is the main epicentre where drugs flow from all states and supplied to other parts of the country.

Officials said the meetings would begin around 11 am and conclude at 3 pm. Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta will make a presentation on action taken and challenges ahead. Each state/UT representative will speak for 10 minutes each, while 20 minutes have been kept for open house.

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