ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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NORTH-Politics of Drive against Smugglers

NORTH Politics of Drive against Smugglers LIKE the prosperous fanners, the smugglers too have a flourishing and influential lobby in Punjab. Smuggling of gold, scarce consumer goods, and other articles across the border between the two Pun jabs has enabled countless adventurers, especially in Amritsar district, to make fortunes. Many of the smugglers have turned politicians or have protectors in high quarters. Congressmen are as involved in such arrangements as members of the opposition parties. No wonder that Chief Minister Zail Singh's recent drive to apprehend smugglers has caused great consternation among legislators and others, irrespective of political affiliations. Under his directive, the state police is reported to have drawn up a list of politician-smugglers who are to be hauled in under MISA, Zail Singh started the anti-smuggling drive with the arrest of Jai Under Singh, a former Congress MLA, who had made Amrit- sar the centre of his activity and is alleged to have math' lakhs of rupees through a smuggling network. Naturally by having him arrested, the Chief Minister has brought down a hornets' nest about his ears. Pressures from all quarters and of all sorts are being brought to bear on him for the release of Jai Inder Singh and for the abandonment of the drive against smugglers.

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