Chandigarh: Three youths lost their lives to suspected drug overdose in a little over a month in Fatehabad district.
A 38-year-old man whose body was found lying under a tree on Bhuna road bypass in Fatehabad on Wednesday is alleged to be the latest victim of drug menace.
The actual cause of death will only be known from the post-mortem report, but looking at the victim’s condition and the lack of injuries, the doctors as well as the police are suspecting that death was due to drug overdose.
The identity of the victim is yet to be established. The doctors in the civil hospital at Fatehabad have sent the body to Maharaja Agarsen Medical College, Agroha, for the post-mortem examination.
This is the third death due to drug overdose since June 14 when Alpesh (25), whose father is an assistant sub-inspector in the Haryana Police, died of it.
On July 11, a 20-year-old youth committed suicide by hanging himself at Gullarwala village of Fatehabad after he failed to get drugs to which he was addicted.
Narcotic drugs, particularly heroin called ‘chitta’ in local parlance, have been ruining people’s lives in Fatehabad, particularly in villages close to the Punjab border.
Pragat Singh (26) from Nakta in Ratia tehsil of Fatehabad, who is presently getting treatment at a drugs de-addiction centre at Fatehabad, said that he used to inject ‘chitta’ by mixing the white powder in canal water, as after purchasing the drug he had no money left for purchasing ampoules of distilled water.
Others like him inhaled the powder by heating it with a lighter after spreading “chitta” on a tin foil.
“Chitta is easily available in our village as well as other neighbouring villages. Drug peddlers who are from these villages bring the drug from Delhi and make easy money by selling it to vulnerable people like me. The police are hand in glove with them as they too get a share,” alleged Pragat.
Dr Girish, a psychiatrist in the civil hospital at Fatehabad, said the situation is so grave that it has led to shortage of space at the de-addiction centre.
“We started this centre in May with 10 beds. Soon, I had to shift 10 more beds from the mental health programme to this centre due to rush of addicts. Now, we have sought 10 additional beds and more space to accommodate those so that patients coming here could be treated,” he added.
As of now, 18 addicts were getting treatment at the centre, he said.
Fatehabad SP Deepak Saharan, however, played down the menace. He said unless the post-mortem report states it, the present death cannot be attributed to drugs. He said that the police were taking all possible measures to check the menace in the district.