Be ruthless in dealing with drug lords: Shah to agencies
DECCAN CHRONICLE | AMRESH SRIVASTAVA
New Delhi: Asking the anti-drug agencies to act "ruthlessly" against the peddlers, their cartels and networks, the Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that the government has set a target to free India completely of narcotics menace by 2047.
Addressing the first conference of the heads of Anti-Narcotics Task Forces of states and Union territories, Mr Shah said the Narendra Modi government has set a target to make the country drug-free when India attains 100th year of independence in 2047 and appealed all state governments, keeping aside their political differences, to join the battle to eradicate the menace of drugs in the country.
"Drug traders are the main culprits as the drug users are the victims. We have to take a ruthless approach against the drug traders and strongest possible action should be taken against them," he said.
"Drug dealers are the main culprits as the drug consumers are the victims. We have to take a ruthless approach against the drug traders and the strongest possible action should be taken against them," he said, adding that there should be focus on the rehabilitation of these victims.
Noting the ill-effects of drugs on the youth as well as the country's economy and security, the home minister said the Narendra Modi government is committed to eradicating the menace of drugs and a "whole of government" and "team work" approach should be taken against it as it can destroy the future generations, he said.
The Modi government’s multidimensional efforts to increase around 145 percent in the seizure of narcotics and 181 percent more cases have been registered against those involved in its business.
"Narcotics not only make the young generation hollow, but along with this, there are many bad effects on the country’s economy as well. Simultaneously, through narco-terror, through smuggling of narcotics, the security of the country’s border can be breached.... If the 130 crore Indians fight it together, we will win this battle," he said, while noting that today India is at a juncture, where it can fight the menace.
"If we think about the fight against narcotics, it seems very difficult, but if we fight it after planning, then the way to victory opens up quickly. And the recent results in this fight against drugs are encouraging," Mr Shah noted, while suggesting that a drug network chart of states and districts must be prepared and that until the chart is ready, it would be not known how widespread the problem is and where focus has to be given.
The Home Minister said a "top of the bottom and bottom to top" approach has to be taken and when the smallest amount of drug is found, its source has to be found and its network has to be probed and dismantled. "If we do this then only the fight against narcotics will be successful," he added.
Mr Shah said many countries have taken a wrong approach by targeting drug consumers, but the real culprits are the drug traffickers. He said when a drug consignment is seized, if it has economic angle, it should be given to the Enforcement Directorate for investigation, if any international terror link is found, then it should be handed over to the NIA, which has powers to probe cases abroad, and some cases can even be given to the CBI.
"If we think about the fight against narcotics, it seems very difficult,but if we fight it after planning, then the way to victory opens up quickly. And the recent results in this fight against drugs are encouraging," the home minister noted.
The home minister said a "whole of government" and "team work" approach should be taken against the menace of drugs as it can destroy the future generations.
He also appealed to everyone to work above politics and asked the state governments to keep aside their political differences and join the fight against narcotics together.
He said a drug network chart of states and districts must be prepared and that until the chart is ready, it would be not known how widespread the problem is and where focus has to be given.
Referring to the "DarkNet" and Blockchain and Drugmap, the minister said that the agencies have done a lot of works in this direction and also asked the Anti-Narcotics Task Force of the states to upgrade the forensic scientific labs in their regions. They should endeavour to add up narco forensic scientific labs. He also said that it was important to make "drug network chart"in each district and the data should be updated at the National Narcotics Coordination portal on a regular basis.
He also said that the destruction of the seized drugs should be done in public.
As much as 3,73,495 kgs of drugs was seized during 2014 to 2022 period and the value of the drugs seized by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) stood at Rs 22,000 crore, about 30 times more than the eight years before the Modi government came to power, according to the Narcotics Control Bureau data.
The comparative data for 2006-13 stood at 1,257 cases, 1,363 arrests and seizure of 1,52,206 kgs of drugs carrying a total value of Rs 768 crore.
According to the NCB data, the anti-drugs enforcement agencies of the country disposed of 5,94,620 kgs of drugs worth Rs 8,409 crore between June 2022 to March 24, 2023