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Paul admits to lapses in dealing with menace of drugs in state

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SHILLONG, May 5: Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh on Sunday admitted to lapses in dealing with the menace of substance abuse and stated that enforcement of the rule of law needs to be improved in dealing with the problem of drugs.
“I admit there are areas with lapses where we certainly need to improve on our enforcement of the rule of law…the Anti Narcotic Task Force will largely address the issue once we complete the ongoing process of recruitment in the Police Department,” Lyngdoh said.
The minister was reacting to open peddling of drugs in the city streets, videos of which have gone viral on several occasions.
Talking about remedial initiatives to address the problem of drugs, he said, “We are also coming up with a formula where we will involve the community on a bigger scale in anti-drugs operations.”
“We have been able to reach out to the community. You may recall the high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister where we had invited leaders of faith organisations and educational institutions,” he reminded.
He informed that one area where they have been able to penetrate is Mawlai.
“The Mawlai Town Dorbar has come forward and offered land  on which we will be building facilities for rehabilitation of drug addicts and counselling centres,” he added.
Stating that it is a very complex situation and not something that can be whisked away in a matter of days or months, more so in the light of the fact that Meghalaya has close proximity with Myanmar which is the gateway of the “Golden Triangle”, Lyngdoh said, “Meghalaya is also a point of convergence of various communities and a lot of passengers and travellers to other parts of the Northeast pass via Shillong and stretch of the GS road. These factors are primarily responsible for the spurt in substance abuse.”
“The problem is tremendous but we are confident that with us having started to engage with the local communities we should be in a position to improve things shortly,” he added.

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