India has zero tolerance for drug menace. Home Minister says the battle against drugs delicately poised, asks States to join hands

Taking a strong stand against drug abuse, HM Amit Shah said, 'the drug menace is a serious problem that is destroying generations'

Taking a strong stand against drug abuse, HM Amit Shah said, 'the drug menace is a serious problem that is destroying generations'
Taking a strong stand against drug abuse, HM Amit Shah said, 'the drug menace is a serious problem that is destroying generations'

Profits from drugs are being utilized for terrorism‘: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said the battle against drugs was delicately poised and urged states to fight the menace together with the Central government, keeping aside politics. Replying to a short-duration discussion in the Lok Sabha on the drug-abuse problem in the country and steps taken by the government to control it, Shah said the Modi government has a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and vowed to put behind bars drug traders, howsoever big, in the next two years.

“Drug menace is a major problem and drug money also contributes to funding terrorism. There are three ways to fight this menace namely cooperation, coordination, and collaboration. These are essential in this fight. And this is not a fight of any government or a party or a government agency,” said Shah

“We have mapped the drug network across the states. No matter how big the criminal is, in the next two years there will be a situation that they will be behind bars,” Shah said, reiterating the joint effort of Centre and states to combat with drug menace. He said the issue of the drug menace is a serious one as profits from this trade are also used to finance acts of terror. The Home Minister said the presence of dirty money also destroys the economy and the government will leave no stone unturned in achieving the target of drugs free India.

Shah said Rs.97,000 crore worth of drugs were destroyed between 2014 and 2022 while Rs.23,000 crore of drugs were seized between 2006 and 2013 and the government will carry forward its campaign against drugs with gusto. On the seizure of 3,000 kg of drugs in Gujarat, he said it was a reflection of the State government’s proactive action against the menace. He said all those involved in the smuggling of the drugs were arrested.

“Drug hauls don’t mean Gujarat is the largest source of drugs. It shows the state is best at seizing drugs. One national leader (Rahul Gandhi) who is now on yatra said Gujarat has become a drug hub, isn’t it better to seize drugs? This campaign is not of a government or a party or an agency. The state and Centre will work together. The fight is at a critical juncture. I appeal, don’t do politics on this issue, said Shah.

The source of drugs was traced to some Gulf countries and action has been taken to ensure that the factories have been shut down, he said, adding the consignment was seized due to the scientific surveillance mounted by the Customs department and allied agencies. Referring to the row over the powers given to the border guarding forces to register cases along international borders, the Home Minister said those who were making political issues out of it were supporters of the drug trade.

The Home Minister said that in 2019, the government has set four levels of NCORD ranging from the Centre to the districts but indicated that a lot of work remains to be done. “Recently, we had a fifth meeting of the Narco Coordination Center (NCORD). Nearly 100% of states have formed state-level Narco Coordination Center (NCORD). But most important is district-level NCORD. As long as DC and SP sit together with social welfare officers for creating NCORD, we can’t fight this war effectively. 32% of districts have set up NCORD. The day all districts are covered, we will benefit in this war,” he said adding that India has asked Interpol to share real-time information on narcotics and terror.

“We have mapped the entire route of drug smuggling in India, mapped 472 districts”, he said. Elaborating on the systems India has put in place, Shah pointed out that frontline forces such as BSF, Indian Coast Guards, and SSB have been empowered to file cases and NIA can go to any country to conduct the probe.

“Hackathons have been organized to ban the dark net and crypto. We have created five modules to train people how to build a case, electronic data analysis, and rehabilitation. We are preparing to ensure chances of bail for the accused are minimum. This is the Modi government and people who don’t follow rules, will not be spared. Money flow to states will be monitored closely. But people who want to change the demography and use FCRA (Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010), they will face the law,” said the Home Minister detailing India’s fight against the drug menace.

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