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‘Village Of Addicts’ Cries For Its Sons

FAZILKA – After reporting seven deaths in the past almost a year, Alliana village of Fazilka has become infamous as ‘Hamlet of addicts’ in this part of the region. Having a population of around 1,200, the village saw the latest death due to drug addiction three days ago.

Pappu Singh (28) fell prey to the menace on Rakshabandhan. A marginal farmer owning three acres of land, Pappu had left for his fields in an inebriated condition early in the morning, says his wife. As he did not return by noon, his family members got worried.

His three married sisters, who had come to tie a ‘rakhi’, started looking for him frantically around the village. Their search ended with the recovery of his body. He reportedly died due to drug overdose. Never had the sisters thought the auspicious occasion would turn tragic.

Weeping inconsolably ever since, his wife has been left to fend for herself and their two daughters, aged three and five.

Pappu’s is not the solitary case in the village, situated 21 km from Fazilka. Six more youths — Darshan Singh, Chhinder Singh, Mangat Singh, Balwant Singh, Gurdev Singh and Manjit Singh — die in a similar fashion. All were below 30. “Of the seven victims, six were married. The condition of around 10 more youths of the village is the same,” says Iqbal Singh, an elderly.

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