Drug overdose claims third life at police recruitment

Kurukshetra: Suspected overdose of performance-enhancing drugs taken by youths to ace physical tests at the ongoing police recruitment drive at Kurukshetra has claimed its third life in a week.
A youth from Sonepat district died at the PGI in Chandigarh on Wednesday night of a suspected drug overdose. Earlier two youths—one from Hisar and the other from Bhiwani–had died on June 24 of suspected overdose of drugs. Their post-mortem report is awaited.
The drive to recruit constables began on June 15 and will end on July 3.
Bhupinder Singh of Kathura village in Sonepat came to Kurukshetra on Wednesday to participate in the drive and reportedly collapsed after completing the 5-km race. He was rushed to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital (LNJPH) here.
Civil Surgeon Dr SK Nain told The Tribune that Singh was diagnosed with low blood pressure and was referred to Chandigarh. He clarified that the post-mortem would ascertain the exact cause of death.
Nain said a section of participants at the recruitment were taking drugs to enhance their performance. “More than 60 cases of suspected drug overdose have already been reported at LNJPH. Symptoms like psychotic behaviour, vomiting and frothing hinted at the use of drugs,” he said.
In several cases, the youths also fell sick due to acute exertion caused by their poor physical capabilities and the ongoing humid climatic conditions.
Dr Nain said, “On Thursday, a participant damaged six laptops at the recruitment base camp. There were instances where participants damaged water containers and other properties at the recruitment centre and hospital and it raises suspicion of using drugs. In some cases, the participants keep running even after completion of the race and such incidents pointed to the use of drugs.”
According to an official estimate, more than 2 lakh youths from Haryana and adjoining states are scheduled to participate in the recruitment drive.
Nain said the dope test for such a large number was not possible. “Prima facie opium and cheap versions of narcotics are suspected to be used by the patients. It is unfortunate that youths are opting for narcotics as a performance-enhancing tool,” Nain said.
The district health department has increased the number of ambulances from three to 11 for the police recruitment drive. Dr Nain said while three vehicles would remain stationed at the base camp, other ambulances would be kept ready for any emergency along the 5-km race track.
video: ABP Sanjha

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