Chandigarh, August 18, 2023: Farmers, NGOs and a section of organisations under the banner of Nasha Virodhi Sanjha Action Committee (NVSAC) Thursday held a second round of talks with the police in Mohali to step up action against drug smuggling and the need for supporting informers of drug supply.
They have also sought an unconditional release of ‘whistleblower’ Parvinder Singh Jhota who was arrested on July 15 for his self-styled campaign against alleged drug smugglers, particularly targeting medical store owners in Mansa and surrounding areas, and taking the law into his hands.
NVSAC, formed by farmer unions of Samyukta Kisan Morcha and other organisations who want drug addiction to be dealt with an iron hand, started an indefinite demonstration on July 16, soon after Jhota’s arrest. The protest going on in front of the district administrative complex of Mansa has entered its 34th day.
Jhota, a recovering drug addict himself, was arrested for conducting a sting operation on a drug store in Mansa on July 12. He had alleged that the chemist was selling banned capsules, got his shop closed forcibly, garlanded the chemist with shoes and paraded him in the market. NVSAC has stated that they will not apply for bail and demanded his unconditional release.
The first meeting with the police was held on August 12.
“We are against drug addiction and even Jhota was also fighting against drugs. So we want the police to take a positive approach to control drug addiction rather than taking action against whistleblowers,” said Dhana Mal Goyal, medical practitioners association which is part of NVSAC.
On Thursday, representatives from 10 farmers’ unions, a medical practitioners association from SKM and around 14 social organisations of Mansa met the police officials. “The police have told us that they welcome information about drug suppliers but we too told them that informers shouldn’t be harassed,” said Goyal.
Ruldu Singh Mansa, president of Punjab Kisan Union, who was part of the meeting said that the campaign against drug addiction would be discussed in the next of meeting of SKM.
Mansa SSP Dr Nanak Singh, ADGP intelligence Jaskaran Singh, and DIG border range Dr Narinder Bhargav were present in the meeting.
The next meeting of NVSAC will be held on August 21 to decide the next course of action, said Sukhdarshan Singh Natt, one of the activists.