The ruling party in Punjab, Shiromani Akali Dal will hold a sit-in near the international borders on Monday pitching “greater vigilance along the border with Pakistan” to stop flow of narcotics into the state. The two-hour dharnas will be held near the Attari, Hussainiwala and Sadqi check points in Amritsar, Ferozepur and Fazilka border districts respectively starting from 12 pm.Punjab Congress too had announced yesterday to stage sit-in on January 5 at the district headquarters demanding dismissal of the Punjab government for allegedly “inciting people against the security forces” but later said it would not hold proposed dharna at district headquarter of Fatehgarh Sahib and Muktsar.Earlier, SAD had announced that it will organise protests on the international border on January 5 to “pressurise the BSF” to stop entry of drugs from “Pakistan side”. But later took a U-turn saying that the sit-in near the border was only to “create awareness against the drug menace” With Congress strongly criticising the SAD by describing its sit-in as “highly demoralising” for the force and demanding slapping of sedition charge against SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal later clarified that the proposed dharnas should not be misconstrued against BSF or any other government agency.Badal on Sunday pitched for the joint effort by the Union and state governments to tackle the drug menace in Punjab, saying that it was the need of the hour for making the state free of drugs eradicating the drug menace in the state.Besides seeking sealing of international borders, SAD has also been demanding from the Centre to put a ban on other states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh for “cultivating narcotics” in order to eliminate drug abuse.Sukhbir Badal will lead the campaign at Attari in Amritsar while MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, cabinet ministers Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Tota Singh will participate dharna proposed at Hussainiwala in Ferozepur.At Sadiqi in Fazilka district, senior Akali leaders Balwinder Singh Bhunder MP and cabinet minister Sikander Singh Maluka will join the dharna, said Punjab Education minister and SAD spokesman Daljeet Singh Cheema on Sunday.”Country should know that Punjab is a victim of drug abuse. We are rice and wheat producing state unlike states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh that draw huge economic gain of Rs 150 crore to Rs 200 crore by cultivating narcotics. How can a country have two laws that allow cultivation of drugs in one state and food grain in another,” questioned Sukhbir Badal on Saturday in Bathinda.
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