State breeding ground of drug peddlers

 GUWAHATI, Dec 31 – Despite several anti-drugs initiatives taken, Assam continues to be a breeding ground for drug peddlers pushing thousands of youngsters into uncertain future every year.The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has registered 622 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in the last 20 months. Besides, it has arrested nearly 1,000 drug peddlers in connection with different cases during the same period.

During the multiple searches and operations, the narcotics cell of the CID has seized 14.96 kg of heroin along with 8,926.58 kg of ganja since May, 2016. The investigating agency also recovered nearly 74 kg of opium and 7.05 kg of morphine from the possession narcotic drug operators.

The other banned substances that the CID has seized include 303,018 bottles of phensedyl and 243,722 numbers of banned pharmaceutical tablets. It also destroyed a ganja cultivation spreading over one bigha of land in Barpeta district.

“There may not be any set network of drug peddlers as such but the situation remains grave more so because it is the drug users who go on to become professional peddlers,” said a senior Assam Police official.

“The effort should be more on decreasing the demand than on disturbing the chain of supply, which has international ramifications. Apart from states like Manipur and Nagaland, neighbouring countries like Myanmar is one of the key links of drug supply,” said the official.

“Despite the State grappling with the problem, there is hardly anything done to address the issue through cohesive approach. There is a need for all the line departments, including the social welfare department, health department and the police to work in tandem,” the official opined.

According to the CID, arrests under the NDPS Act have increased since 2014. In 2014, 191 cases were registered and 235 people were arrested under the Act. In 2016, 328 cases were registered and 587 people were arrested. In 2017 as well, the scenario has not changed much.

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