Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao today asked officials to intensify the investigation into the incidents of the illicit drug trade and adulteration of food items, which were unearthed recently. The chief minister held a high-level review meeting at Pragati Bhavan here, where he directed the officials concerned to take stringent measures against those supplying drugs and indulging in adulteration. The meeting was held against the backdrop of busting of a high-end narcotics selling racket by the state Excise department. Asking the officials to conduct a detailed investigation from all angles into such rackets, Rao told them not to spare anyone irrespective of his or her position. "In this shady business, don't leave anyone. Any politician, even if there is a Cabinet minister involved in this crime, file cases against him," the chief minister is quoted as saying in an official release issued here. Expressing pain over the incident in last month wherein blood was adulterated with saline in the city, Rao asked the officials to modify the Acts to give the guilty life imprisonment and bring in changes and amendment to the existing Acts if needed. In the wake of state Prohibition and Excise department officials arresting 13 persons since July 2 on charge of selling and supplying high-end narcotics like LSD and MDMA in the city, Rao said there is an urgent need to protect the brand Hyderabad. The gang catered to about 1,000 customers, including students of city-based schools and colleges, a film producer, and some senior officials of MNCs and employees of IT firms in Cyberabad. Based on the information provided by the arrested persons, the department has summoned 12 persons, including some Tollywood personalities, seeking explanations on their alleged links with the drug-peddlers who have been directed to appear before the authorities from July 19 onwards. "Officers in the state are doing a good job in controlling the drug menace, adulteration in food items and the sale of spurious seeds. We are catching those involved in this shady business and raids are being conducted at several places. "But don't be complacent with the good work you have done so far, go ahead with much more zeal and work till the end. Increase intensity of the investigations, go deeper, find out who are playing the key roles and take action against all those guilty," Rao said. He said the government has given the total freedom to officials on these issues as far as investigation is concerned. The government's aim is very clear. There should not be any (selling of) drugs or adulteration in the state. Arrest the guilty even if they are famous, he said, adding that there is no place for any violation of law. "There won't be any political interference in the case and this government has no need to protect anyone. Even if there is any involvement of politicians don't spare them even if they belonged to the TRS.
Register cases against them and send them to jail. Even if there is a Cabinet minister don't spare him/her. The state government will not protect such persons. You have total liberty in catching the culprits," Rao said. On Telangana Excise Enforcement Director Akun Sabharwal yesterday postponing his leave till the completion of the probe into the drug racket, Rao said, "I have asked Sabharwal not to go leave as the case is being investigated". The TRS chief also instructed the officials to take such measures that people should get frightened to consume drugs or sell them in Hyderabad. "Change Hyderabad into a drug-free city," he said. Telangana Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, Excise Minister T Padma Rao, state DGP Anurag Sharma, besides senior officials of different departments were among those who attended the meeting. The DGP informed the chief minister on the measures undertaken to control adulteration of food items and spurious seeds. "56 teams are working on the spurious seeds' issue and 14 teams on adulteration of food items. As far as spurious seeds are concerned, 77 cases were registered and 72 persons have been arrested so far whereas 340 cases were registered and 562 arrests have been made in connection with the adulteration of food items," Sharma said. Stating that the supply of drugs, adulteration of food items and spurious seeds are organised crimes, Rao asked officials to create a special wing for monitoring such illegal activities. "Some corrupt officials is the main reason for the supply of drugs and illicit seeds and the ACB should act more rigorously. Prepare a list of such corrupt officials in the state and keep a close vigil on them. File cases and punish those offering bribes as well as those accepting it," he added.
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