Need public support to make India drugs-free: Amit Shah

On the issue of movies glamourising the use of recreational drugs and narcotics, Shah said that it was a trend which was no longer in vogue

BENGALURU: India will continue to adopt zero tolerance towards narcotics and will never consider the prospect of legalising drugs for the sake of earning revenue, said Union home minister Amit Shah. He was speaking on the sidelines of the Regional Conference on National Security and Drug Trafficking in virtual mode on Friday.

After a comprehensive review of the intensified and concerted campaign against narcotics with leaders and police officials of the southern states, Shah, during a select media interaction, said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has decided to combat drugs through a plethora of strategies, laws and efforts. But public awareness and participation is key to winning this fight.”

On the issue of movies glamourising the use of recreational drugs and narcotics, Shah said that it was a trend which was no longer in vogue. “I have personally in my interactions with the movie fraternity and officials of the Censor Board made an earnest plea to join the battle against drugs. I am happy they are no longer making drugs look good and instead are helping expose to the youth to the dangers of indulging in such addictive vices.”

On the low conviction rate in narcotics cases, Shah said, “we see drug users as victims and not criminals. We would like to focus on their rehabilitation. Punishment will be for those who make money out of drugs, including confiscation of property.”

He added that nobody would be spared by the law based on their celebrity or social status.

On the allied issue of bringing OTT under censorship, the Union home minister said that it was a complicated and tangential matter, the licensing and tax rules clearly insisted on no tolerance towards positive depiction of drugs.

Accepting that cross-border smuggling of drugs was a comprehensive problem, and there were serious risks to national security as well as the future of youth, he said, “India will battle this on all fronts. We are bringing in changes to curriculum to educate children. We are also engaging with different departments to ensure our schools and colleges are kept free from the menace.”

On the higher seizure of drugs and registration of drug-related crimes, he said, “Between 2006 and 2013, there were 1,257 cases registered, which grew by 181 per cent to 3,544 between 2014 and 2022; but it is only because we are strengthening policing mechanisms. More than twice the amount of drugs was caught, whose value was nearly 30 times more. It is better vigilance and commitment that is showing results.”

Explaining the national strategy against narcotics, Shah said, “We are adopting a three-pronged strategy including better coordination with narco agencies, strengthening the institutional framework, and awareness campaigns. A new national helpline has been launched.”

Asking everyone to join the campaign, beyond politics, he said, “We won’t even say it is our government’s initiative, or our success. Let everyone help make India free of drugs.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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