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Drug abusers on the rise in State: DGP

By R DUTTA CHOUDHURY

GUWAHATI, Nov 16 - Assam has become not only a transit route for drug trafficking but it is now also a destination as it has become a home to a large number of drug abusers. The most disturbing fact is that majority of the abusers are of the �productive age group�, said the Director General of Assam Police, BJ Mahanta.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, the DGP said that Assam is fast becoming the home to a large number of drug abusers. Assam is not only a transit route but a destination of drugs too. It is fast becoming home to a large number of drug abusers. He said that drugs from the Golden Triangle are brought into Assam mainly through Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram and the same route is used to smuggle narcotics out of Assam (coming from other States of India), thus creating a two-way corridor for illegal trade in drugs.

Mahanta revealed that Guwahati has emerged as a prominent transit point in this two-way traffic. The seizure of narcotics corroborates the disturbing trend. The spillover from the drug smuggling has resulted in sizeable number of youths in Assam becoming addicts. Most of the drug users are in the productive age of 18-40 years, so the loss in terms of human potential is unimaginable and incalculable. Apart from affecting the productivity, financial stability, peace, harmony, etc, it also causes tremendous stigma on individual family and serious damage to the reputation of the State as a whole, he added.

Mahanta said, �Initially I focused on detection and ensuring strict legal action against the perpetrators. However, seeing the large scale penetration of the menace into the core of the society, we have decided also to focus on reduction of the demand by a slew of special drives. We will soon move on this direction as well with the help of the stakeholders. I am already in touch with some former addicts, educators and other stakeholders in this regard.�

Mahanta pointed out that the gravity of drug trafficking is evident from the ever increasing arrest figures of accused persons under the NDPS Act.

The types of persons arrested in the State include, drug mafia, drug cartel kingpin, drug traffickers, drug peddlers, drug couriers, repeated offenders, drug addicts, transit middlemen and even Government servants and members of security forces, he said.

The disquieting aspect of narcotics smuggling, of late, has been the involvement of women. In recent past, large number of youths were arrested. This happened because those in the nefarious trade would often lure a teenager and then use him or her to entice their friends and associates into the vicious trap.

The DGP admitted that analysis of arrest figures reflects the existence of well-oiled Inter-State gang of drug traffickers. Other than Assam, the arrested accused persons belong to 12 other States of India. Unfortunately, majority of those arrested are either drug peddlers or addicts and the real kingpins are evading the dragnet of Police. It is true that unless the kingpins are not hit, it will be impossible to put a curb on the expanding tentacles of the drugs mafia which continues to operate with lot of dexterity and always try to outmaneuver the Police. The Assam Police is giving top priority to curb the menace of drug trafficking and launched a sustained crackdown across the State. This is evident from the seizure of huge consignment of drug and subsequent arrest of large number of traffickers and peddlers.

Replying to a question on whether any special effort is launched for training of policemen to deal with the menace, Mahanta said that training both on job and institutional is an ongoing process. Monthly training on narcotics in CID headquarters has been, however, stopped since the outbreak of COVID-19. However, training online and handholding during work has been going on. A special Narcotic Cell has been started in CID headquarter and the cell has been guiding the field officers through webinars.

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Drug abusers on the rise in State: DGP

GUWAHATI, Nov 16 - Assam has become not only a transit route for drug trafficking but it is now also a destination as it has become a home to a large number of drug abusers. The most disturbing fact is that majority of the abusers are of the �productive age group�, said the Director General of Assam Police, BJ Mahanta.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, the DGP said that Assam is fast becoming the home to a large number of drug abusers. Assam is not only a transit route but a destination of drugs too. It is fast becoming home to a large number of drug abusers. He said that drugs from the Golden Triangle are brought into Assam mainly through Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram and the same route is used to smuggle narcotics out of Assam (coming from other States of India), thus creating a two-way corridor for illegal trade in drugs.

Mahanta revealed that Guwahati has emerged as a prominent transit point in this two-way traffic. The seizure of narcotics corroborates the disturbing trend. The spillover from the drug smuggling has resulted in sizeable number of youths in Assam becoming addicts. Most of the drug users are in the productive age of 18-40 years, so the loss in terms of human potential is unimaginable and incalculable. Apart from affecting the productivity, financial stability, peace, harmony, etc, it also causes tremendous stigma on individual family and serious damage to the reputation of the State as a whole, he added.

Mahanta said, �Initially I focused on detection and ensuring strict legal action against the perpetrators. However, seeing the large scale penetration of the menace into the core of the society, we have decided also to focus on reduction of the demand by a slew of special drives. We will soon move on this direction as well with the help of the stakeholders. I am already in touch with some former addicts, educators and other stakeholders in this regard.�

Mahanta pointed out that the gravity of drug trafficking is evident from the ever increasing arrest figures of accused persons under the NDPS Act.

The types of persons arrested in the State include, drug mafia, drug cartel kingpin, drug traffickers, drug peddlers, drug couriers, repeated offenders, drug addicts, transit middlemen and even Government servants and members of security forces, he said.

The disquieting aspect of narcotics smuggling, of late, has been the involvement of women. In recent past, large number of youths were arrested. This happened because those in the nefarious trade would often lure a teenager and then use him or her to entice their friends and associates into the vicious trap.

The DGP admitted that analysis of arrest figures reflects the existence of well-oiled Inter-State gang of drug traffickers. Other than Assam, the arrested accused persons belong to 12 other States of India. Unfortunately, majority of those arrested are either drug peddlers or addicts and the real kingpins are evading the dragnet of Police. It is true that unless the kingpins are not hit, it will be impossible to put a curb on the expanding tentacles of the drugs mafia which continues to operate with lot of dexterity and always try to outmaneuver the Police. The Assam Police is giving top priority to curb the menace of drug trafficking and launched a sustained crackdown across the State. This is evident from the seizure of huge consignment of drug and subsequent arrest of large number of traffickers and peddlers.

Replying to a question on whether any special effort is launched for training of policemen to deal with the menace, Mahanta said that training both on job and institutional is an ongoing process. Monthly training on narcotics in CID headquarters has been, however, stopped since the outbreak of COVID-19. However, training online and handholding during work has been going on. A special Narcotic Cell has been started in CID headquarter and the cell has been guiding the field officers through webinars.

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