A full bench panel of NHRC led by its chairperson Justice (retd) K G Balakrishnan held three-day confabulations ending on Friday with members of different communities, police officers and NGOs from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh on issues concerning human rights and concluded that "drug is a serious problem in Punjab."

Balakrishnan said that the commission categorically told officers in Punjab that drug addiction is a very serious problem in the state.
"State (Punjab) is heading towards a serious problem," he told reporters.

Balakrishnan stressed that the state government should immediately find the "source" of drug and take effective steps to re-rehabilitate the victims of drugs.

The NHRC chairman said that during the current year, more than 500 kg of heroin was seized in Punjab. The street value of one kg is about Rs one crore.

"I was told by the officers of Punjab that in 2014, 1,300 cases under the NDPS Act were registered in the state," he said while advising the Punjab government to keep a "constant vigil" to check the drug menace in the state.

When his attention was drawn towards alleged police- politican-drug mafia nexus in Punjab, he said "all sections of the society are involved into it."

Describing drug as a social problem, he said that need of the hour is that each and every family in the state act against drug.

Balakrishnan also said that several complaints of alleged police excesses were received by the panel during the three days.

"During the course of 'open hearing' for the three days the panel received 63 complaints from Punjab, 49 from Haryana and 18 from Himachal Pradesh. These complaints are mostly related to atrocities by police," he said.   

"All these complaints are of serious nature," he said.

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