LAHORE - The Anti-Narcotics Force has launched a crackdown on dealers supplying drugs to students across the province, official said Thursday.

The move comes following reports indicating that the use of narcotics is growing among youngsters, particularly students of colleges and universities in Punjab. An ANF spokesman told reporters in Lahore that at least 11 drug pushers were arrested during the first day of crackdown. Most of the arrests were made in Lahore. A woman and a sweeper of a leading educational institution were also among the arrested.

The ANF teams also seized huge quantity of narcotics from the dealers during the raid, the spokesman said. Several special teams are taking part in the latest anti-narcotics drive, he said.

According to the ANF, some employees of the educational institutions are involved in drugs smuggling to the students. The operation was launched in different localities around the leading colleges and universities to hunt down the drug pushers.  The arrested suspects were identified by ANF as Muhammad Khurram, Muhammad Hussain, Malik Shah Muhammad, Moon Masih, Arshad Masih, Sagar Masih, Ali Sher, Muhammad Ali, Abdul Sattar, Aslam Masih, Rafaqat Masih and Salma Bibi.

The suspects were shifted to different facilities for further interrogation. The force also registered criminal cases against the suspects and launched the investigations.

An official claimed that more arrests are expected in the days ahead since several drug dealers are being interrogated by special teams.

The ANF officers were also directed to smash the network of drug dealers and suppliers.