Chief Ministers and advisers of seven northern states and the Union Territory of Chandigarh will meet in Chandigarh on July 25 in a first-of-its-kind meeting on combating the drug menace jointly.
The CMs of all states barring the Delhi CM,Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, have confirmed their participation. The meeting follows a couple of earlier meetings between Punjab and Haryana CMs and DGPs to chalk out a comprehensive strategy on checking the flow of drugs and movement of smugglers.
Those who have confirmed participation are Mr. Ashok Gehlot (Rajasthan), Mr. Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), Mr. Jai Ram Thakur (Himachal Pradesh) and Mr. Trivendra Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand), besides advisers to the Governors of J&K and UT Chandigarh.
Officials said Mr. Kejriwal was likely to attend, but a confirmation is awaited. The meeting would be unique, as the CMs belong to different parties. While Rajasthan and Punjab have Congress government, Haryana, HP and Uttarakhand have the BJP in power and J&K is under the President’s rule.
Police sources said the meeting was important as a particular drug was flowing from one state to another and vice-versa. Drugs smuggled into Punjab from J&K, Rajasthan besides across the border from Pakistan are making way to Delhi and beyond. Habit-forming drugs are making their way to Jammu from Punjab. While cannabis from HP has a market in Punjab, most infamous drug 'chitta' is now smuggled to Himachal villages along the Punjab border.
Delhi is the main epicentre where drugs flow from all states and supplied to other parts of the country.
Officials said the meetings would begin around 11 am and conclude at 3 pm. The Punjab DGP, Mr. Dinkar Gupta, will make a presentation on action taken and challenges ahead.