Thursday, February 29, 2024

Centre wants aggressive war against drugs, says Conrad

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, Dec 5: The Centre has asked the state government to aggressively monitor and take a tough stand against drug smugglers and drug abuse.
Underlining the importance of working in tandem with the central government, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday told reporters, “The Centre has been very aggressive on this matter and has been continuously pushing us to ensure that we take aggressive steps in continuous monitoring, intelligence collection, and taking tough measures against those involved in drugs smuggling.”
The tough stand taken has led to many arrests, he said.
He pointed out that the state faced a lot of challenges in dealing with the problem earlier. “We did not have our labs, we could not test the products and the conviction was taking a lot of time because by the time the lab gave us the report 90 days would be over,” Sangma said.
“We have our forensic lab today and we no longer need to depend on other states. We do our testing and immediately convict people who are involved based on the different laws that are there,” he said.
He attributed the arrests and seizures to the concerted efforts of the Centre and the state government.
Meanwhile, speaking at the DREAM programme at the U Soso Tham auditorium, DGP Lajja Ram Bishnoi said Meghalaya’s proximity to the Golden Triangle comprising Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos makes it a sensitive state in terms of drug trafficking and drug abuse.
He expressed concern over the increase in the number of drug users, especially in the rural areas. Citing an analysis of police complaints in Shillong, he said most of the cases of domestic violence and accidents are the result of substance abuse or alcohol.
He said 116 such cases were registered by the police in 2022 and 183 cases in 2023, showing an upward trend. The police arrested 234 drug traffickers in 2022 and 349 till December 4 this year, he added.
More drugs are being seized too. The police seized 7.5 kg of heroin in 2022, less than half of the 16.7 kg seized so far in 2023.
“A kg of heroin can make 2,000 youth drug addicts. Three dosages of 150 milligrams of heroin can make people dependent on drugs,” Bishnoi said.
The seizure of cannabis or marijuana also jumped from 1,400 kg in 2022 to 4,000 kg this year. Similarly, 61,000 Yaba tablets have been seized during the current year compared to 13,000 tablets last year.
The police also seized Rs 47 lakh in cash from the drug traffickers this year, up from Rs 37 lakh in 2022.
The DGP said the state has 80 police stations. Cases of drug trafficking have been registered in 42 police stations this year compared to 28 police stations in 2022.

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