Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) has conducted a study that shows that not only are some political leaders patronizing drug smuggling but some leaders are also involved in the trade. The data has been collected between 2017 and 2022.
The study was carried out by Dr. Ranjit Singh Ghuman, Professor of Eminence, GNDU, Amritsar, along with Dr. Gurinder Kaur and Dr. Jatinder Singh. It is based on 3,386 addicts whose data was collected between 2017 and 2022. The main focus of the study is the state of Punjab but the data includes Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Jammu as well. Most of the addicts involved in the study were taking drugs from 2012-2017.
The objective of the study is to find out the socio-cultural and politico-economic dynamics of drug addiction other than liquor and tobacco. Dr. Ghuman spoke about the study titled ‘Dynamics of Drug Addiction and Abuse in India,’ and said, “The empirical part of the study dwells on the quantitative and qualitative data and information collected from 3,386 addicts. The primary data was collected from 950 addicts and their household members (950), 190 unidentified addicts, 616 controlled groups (households with no addict), 640 participants in 77 focus group discussions, and 40 case studies across the states.”
The study found that some political leaders are patronizing drug smuggling and that some leaders are also involved in the trade. It was found that over 95 percent of participants stated that politicians distributed intoxicants and drugs to please voters. They also shared that some politicians were involved in the drug business through a well-structured network and added that there is a deep nexus between political leaders, police officials, and big drug suppliers/smugglers.
It also pointed out that the drug supply continues as the ‘big fishes’ are not being caught. It is impossible to break this supply chain without going after the big players.
Recently, a deep police-drug-politician nexus was busted and Additional Inspector General of Police (AIG) Raj Jit Singh as well as Inspector (ORP) Inderjit Singh were dismissed from service. Former Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia was also booked for facilitating the network of drug smugglers through the police under the AAP government. A challan is yet to be filed against him in the court and it has been 17 months since he was booked.