Punjab’s war against drugs: Ludhiana’s Kul Gehna becomes bane for rest
The death of a 16-year-old schoolboy of Pamal village in Ludhiana district due to drug overdose on February 1 has left residents shocked.
Ludhiana: The death of a 16-year-old schoolboy of Pamal village in Ludhiana district due to drug overdose on February 1 left residents shocked.
Kuldeep Singh, a local resident, said it’s not only his village but youngsters of nearby Chakk Kalan and Ahliwal that have fallen prey to drug abuse to Kul Gehna, a village infamous for peddlers in Sidhwan Bet area, 15km from Pamal.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior officer posted with Ludhiana rural police confirmed that Kul Gehna village is a den for drug peddling with 70% of its male population into the trade of supplying ‘chitta’. In 2017, the police initiated an anti-drug drive in Kul Gehna and Khurshid Pura. The villagers even handed over affidavits to the Ludhiana rural police vowing that they will make sure that no villager sells or consumes drugs. Yet, the village fell back on its promise and residents are back to peddling drugs.
A cordon and search operation (CASO) was conducted in two villages after the death of the school boy and three residents Kul Gehna were arrested.
“A road connects Kul Gehna with our village but there is no police checking on the way so addicts have easy access,” said a resident of Pamal. Residents fear peddlers and avoid revealing their names.
Pamal sarpanch Jagdish Singh says the death of the teenager indicates how deep-rooted the problem is. “At least 20 more youngsters are caught in this trap. They don’t know what they are consuming in the name of chitta. To root out this problem, we should be united.”
Balwinder Singh, the father of the school boy, denied his son was an addict. “His friends may have insisted that he try it. We want stern action against the drug peddlers.”
The sarpanch said, “We have started a drive in the village and appeal to family members to help get the youngsters de-addicted instead of covering up.”