Sadness tinges Mr Gursariya’s voice as he points to his friends. “Most of them fell victims to drug addiction. One died in a road accident with an addict, one is in jail after caught peddling drugs,” he said. The rest are struggling to give up the habit – among them his 25-year-old brother.
Mr Gursariya managed to kick the habit 5 years ago and is leading a normal life. But in his village — Gurusar Jadon in Punjab’s Muktsar district — not many have been so lucky.
Youngsters have not learnt any lessons from the deaths — most addicts are in the age group of 18 to 35.
Despite the claims of the Punjab government, drug trail in the state is not hard to find.
One of the addicts told NDTV that the peddlers get it at the border, from where it is ferried to the cities. NDTV team went to hunt for peddlers at the nearest town, Giddarbaha, which is a stronghold of the ruling Badal family.
All one needs is a local source. After a few calls, a peddler promised to deliver 10 milligram of heroin for Rs. 1,000. “If you order bigger quantities, 10 or 20 grams, it will cost you Rs. 6,000 to 7,000 per gram,” he said.
So where does he get it from?
“Ferozepur. Bags of heroin are lying at homes. We can go whenever you want… 25-30 bags I have seen for myself,” came the reply.
Seizures of heroin by the Border Security Force have gone up three-fold over the last five years – rising from 115 kg in 2010 to 344 kg in 2015. In the six months of this year, 104 kg of the drug has been seized.
Kanwar Vijay Pratap Singh, DIG, Border Range, says their focus is to stop drug consumption in border villages as well as smuggling from across the border. “We have met with some success as well. The BSF is also doing a good job,” he said.