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Delhi Police raid 70 cigarette shops operating near schools

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Delhi Police raid 70 cigarette shops operating near schoolsNovember 30, 2023New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS) In a single-day operation, the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch raided 70 cigarette shops operating near the schools across the national capital, an official said on Thursday, adding that total 31 areas were identified where pan khokha/bidi/gutka vendors were found active and indulged in selling tobacco products in the 100m parameter of educational institutes The Special Commissioner of Police (Crime), Ravindra Singh Yadav, said that as per directives of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, it was decided to focus on identifying and apprehending individuals involved in the trafficking and distribution of narcotics near educational institutes.Yadav said that it was also felt that for curbing the drug menace among children, strict action was not only required against the drug peddlers, but also against the violators of Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA).“Panwari/Khokha vendors selling tobacco products, i.e., Pan/Cigarettes/Bidi/Gutka, especially near the school premises, attract the school going children to indulge in consumption of Bidi/Gutka, etc., which is the beginning of addiction of any kind of drug. Young children and college going students initially indulge in its consumption and later on get addicted in the trap of deadly narcotics as well synthetic drugs,” said Yadav.Joint action was planned simultaneously all over Delhi along with teams from NCB to ensure comprehensive action with an element of surprise.“To begin with, data was taken from the Department of Education and local inquiry was conducted. Total 31 areas were identified all over Delhi, where vendors were found active and indulged in selling tobacco products in the 100 metre parameter of educational institutes,” said Yadav.“We formed 31 teams and surprise raids were conducted on the above said tobacco vendors. Total 70 vendors were found violating the rules under COTPA Act. Hence, 70 challans were issued against them.”This is a unique operation which was conducted all over Delhi in a single day to give a strong message to vendor operators, who are active near the educational institutes. Matter has been taken up with civil authorities for closing all such violators,” said Yadav.–IANSssh/dpb

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