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State violating SC order on drug disposal


GUWAHATI, May 12 - In a finding that has raised quite a few eyebrows, the rate of disposal of seized drugs has been found to be nil in as many as 20 districts of Assam in the last four years, raising fears about their pilferage.

This stands in clear violation of a Supreme Court�s directive, which makes it mandatory for the agencies to incinerate the seized drugs within three months from the date of seizure.

The shocking state of affairs has come to notice at a time when the law-enforcing agencies are upping the ante against drug menace across the State.

Worried at the report, the Director General of Assam Police Mukesh Sahay has now asked the respective Superintendents of Police to look into the matter and act forthwith in this aspect.

The districts include Sadia, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Majuli, Sonitpur, Biswanath Chariali, Udalguri, NC Hills, Hamren, Dhemaji, Hojai, Karimganj, Hailakandi, South Salmara, Barpeta and Nalbari. Further information is still awaited from places like Guwahati, Nagaon, Cachar, Golaghat, Lakhimpur and Baksa, among a few others.

Some of the SPs contended that in most of the districts there is no provision of incineration (specified places where these drugs could be disposed of by burning), and on many occasions such places are hired like it is the case in Guwahati.

Sources informed that there exists a serious problem of pilferage, which the law enforcers will have to deal with effectively. For this, de-clogging of police station maalkhanas (seized drug storehouses) will have to be done.

�At present, there is no separate maalkhana. The Supreme Court order says that these maalkhanas should have the provision of double-lock system.�

�Proposals are there to include this provision in the police modernisation scheme,� sources said.

A senior Assam Police official told this reporter that as the stakes are too high in drug trafficking, the funding channel and its possible links with insurgent groups is also to be probed, �if we really wish to nab the big players involved.�

�As it is the biggest form of organised crime in the world, we too need to have a multi-agency coordination to fight the menace,� he said.

He said efforts should be initiated not just in blocking the sources, but the lasting benefit will be derived �only when we can effect demand reduction.�

The State Government has already constituted a task force, which will be headed by Additional Chief Secretary TY Das to look into the issue and devise a counter-mechanism.

The Chief Secretary, too, has proposed introduction of a toll-free number and call centre aimed at redressal of drug-related issues, including rehabilitation.

Our Doomdooma Correspondent adds: The Asom Unnati Sabha secretary Pramod Kumar Bora on Wednesday raised questions whether the SC directives are being followed while dealing with drug-peddling cases.

To save the future generation from the evil of drugs, he urged the State machinery to intensify the drive.

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