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Unsung heroes saved many lives in Punjab terror attack

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picture from- indianexpress.com

Dinanagar (Punjab): Satpal, Darshan Kumar and Nanak Chand are no ordinary people as they are the ones who saved scores of innocent lives in this Punjab town during a terror attack.

picture from- www.abplive.in
picture from- www.abplive.in

While the limelight of the 11-hour long intense gun-battle with terrorists has been hogged by the SWAT and special units of the Punjab Police in Monday’s terror attack on Dinanagar town in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, it was the pro-active role played by unsung heroes of this small town which saved scores of lives from the mayhem planned by the terrorists.

The death toll in the terror attack could have been many more than the figure of seven, including one police officer and three home guards personnel, had these three men and their associates not shown alertness and courage.

The terrorists, who had besieged Dinanagar town from 5.30 a.m. on Monday, had planned more casualties by wiring five live bombs on the railway track on a small bridge on the Pathankot-Amritsar railway section.

A tragedy was averted as alert railway staff detected the bombs just five minutes before a train loaded with passengers was to cross the bridge, five km from here.

“I was going to get milk from nearby as I did daily. I saw something wired to the bridge. I sent a youth to inform railway staff about the suspicious things on the bridge,” Satpal, a railway gate man, said.

“The timely detection of the bombs saved many lives,” Satpal added.

Railway employee Darshan Kumar, who was told about the suspicious items on the railway bridge, immediately asked a railway key man to run and get the passenger train stopped.

“I realized that the train had already started from the Parmanand railway station with many passengers. I asked the key man to run and stop the train. He was able to stop it in the nick of time. Otherwise, there would have been so much damage,” said Darshan Kumar, who later went about his daily duty in his khakhi uniform.

The passenger train was carrying over 250 people and the bombs were wired to the track on a small bridge over a rivulet.

“We stopped all trains on the Pathankot-Amritsar section immediately. Four trains run on this section daily. The alertness of the staff saved several lives,” a senior railway official said.

State-run Punjab Roadways bus driver Nanak Chand was another hero of the day.

Chand had never imagined that he would come face to face with terrorists in the early hours of an otherwise normal day.

The driver did not panic even when one terrorist fired at the bus, after trying to signal it to stop. Chand instead scared the terrorist by driving towards him. The firing by the terrorist left 2-3 passengers injured with gunshot wounds.

“I saw a man in army uniform with a scarf covering his face and carrying a weapon signalling me to stop. I suspected trouble as army people don’t cover their faces. I turned the bus and sped away despite the firing,” Nanak Chand said.

The driver took the bus towards Gurdaspur town, nearly 20 km away, and stopped at the civil hospital to enable the injured to get treatment. He then informed the police about the incident.

There were over 70 passengers in the bus at that time when the incident took place around 5.30 am. The bus was on its way from Bamiyal town to Chandigarh.

(IANS)

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Over Three Lakh Drug Addicts Treated By Punjab Police in 2018

The action plan named Comprehensive Action against Drug Abuse is aimed at choking the supply of drugs through enforcement and reducing the demand through de-addiction and prevention.

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drugs
The action plan named Comprehensive Action against Drug Abuse is aimed at choking the supply of drug

Over three lakh drug addicts were treated in Punjab in 2018 and more than 63,000 people are currently being treated, out of which 25,000 are heroin addicts, a top police official said on Tuesday.

The retention rate is 91.71 per cent, Director General (Special Task Force) Mohammad Mustafa told reporters here.

The Special Task Force, constituted by the state in April 2017, has been implementing a three-pronged strategy of enforcement, de-addiction and prevention (EDP) to combat the menace of drugs.

The action plan named Comprehensive Action against Drug Abuse is aimed at choking the supply of drugs through enforcement and reducing the demand through de-addiction and prevention.

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Generic drugs produced by Indian pharmaceutical companies make medicines affordable, but India says that China does not provide market access to its generic drugs. VOA

Mustafa said a multi-layered monitoring and implementing mechanism has been put in place. The Cabinet sub-committee on drugs headed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is monitoring it.

He said the outpatient treatment being rendered at 168 Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment Clinics is a great success.

To make students aware about the ill-effects of drugs, the Buddy Project has been implemented.

Approximately five lakh Drug Abuse Prevention Officers have been registered, 1,500 cluster coordinators and 15,000 Nasha Roku Nigran Committees are being trained through 523 master trainers.

drugs
Over 3 lakh drug addicts treated in Punjab in 2018

Under this project, he said, 329 master trainers are training three lakh school teachers and college lecturers who will impart skills to approximately 40 lakh students.

He said 27 lakh students have already been covered.

A separate drug division is being set up in the Department of Health for efficient drug administration and better monitoring of de-addiction.

The Punjab Chief Minister in October 2018 sought a national drug policy to save the young generation, saying a comprehensive formula was needed at the central level to effectively check the drug abuse.

Punjab CM
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Earlier, six northern states unanimously decided to set up a common secretariat, to be based in Panchkula near Chandigarh, for data and information sharing, which was critical to the joint action.

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The states that have joined hands are Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Delhi as also the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

The meeting accepted the suggestion of Amarinder Singh to hold regular meetings at various levels to tackle the problem and monitor the progress of the anti-drug fight. (IANS)