February 1, 2023 11:41 pm

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Uproot And Not Just Seize; Curbing Drug Menace in Northeast

In line with PM Narendra Modi’s vision of a ‘drug-free India’, approximately 40,000 kg of drugs were destroyed in the Northeastern states during the visit of the Union Home Minister to the region.

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In line with PM Narendra Modi’s vision of a ‘drug-free India’, approximately 40,000 kg of drugs were destroyed in the Northeastern states during the visit of the Union Home Minister to the region.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah was on a three-day visit to the Northeastern state of Assam from October 7 to 9. On Saturday i.e., October 8th, Amit Shah addressed a regional meeting on ‘Drug Trafficking and National Security ’ with CMs and DGPs of North-eastern state in Guwahati, Assam.

In his address, Home Minister Amit Shah in particular reiterated that the aim of the central government was not just limited to drug seizures but to uproot the entire drug menace from the northeast.   

Bedlam in the Northeast over Drug Menace

The Northeast region is located close to the so-called Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia (comprising Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar), thus witnessing the infiltration of drugs in the state. According to a statement by the Union Home Ministry, Drugs like heroin and methamphetamine are directly smuggled into the northeast region from Myanmar across the border rivers.

The area also has to witness the influence of the closely located Golden Crescent region of South Asia(comprising Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan), which is a principal global site for illicit opium production.

Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent in World map

According to various investigations, the bank accounts related to smuggled drugs have been linked with Myanmarese and Nigerians. Drugs majorly affect the youth, who are the primordial consumers of them. Infiltration of drugs is also related to the problems of dirty money and insurgency in the state.  

PM Modi’s vision of a ‘Drug-free India’

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, The Ministry of Home Affairs under the aegis of the Narcotics Control Bureau(NCB) decided to launch a campaign for 75 days to destroy 75000 kg of drugs. According to the officials, the target was well achieved before the deadline, in just 60 days. Around 1,50,000 kg of seized drugs have been destroyed to date. 

The NCB has been running a special mission since June 1 to destroy the confiscated drugs in order to commit to the Modi government’s effort for a drug-free society.

During his presence at the regional meeting, Amit Shah virtually monitored the destruction of around 40,000 kg of drugs from Guwahati. 

The highest quantity of drugs 12,000 kgs was destroyed in Tripura by NCB, followed by Guwahati(11,000 kg), Assam(8,000 kg),Arunachal Pradesh(4000 kg), Manipur(1900 kg), Meghalaya(1600 kg), Mizoram (1500 kg), and Nagaland(398 kg)

This is the second of its kind meeting on drug trafficking and national security. The first one was held on July 30 in Chandigarh where the Union Home Minister started the process of destroying 31,000 kg of narcotic drugs by different field units of NCB through virtual means. 

Future Mitigating Solutions

The use of the latest technology like Artificial Intelligence can be a boon in order to monitor the smuggling of drugs in the region. Strict vigilance should be enforced by the security forces on the north-east borders and the Enforcement Directorate could be of great help to them. 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has proposed a special laboratory for the NCB and also to train the public prosecutor in the legal procedures of seizure and drug case trials. 

Way Forward

In his visit to the northeastern state of Assam, Union Home Minister Amit Shah clearly stated the vision of the present government was to uproot the drug menace from its core. The BJP-led government in the state under Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has already been working towards achieving this center’s vision. Last month, Biswa Sarma, informed that drugs worth Rs. 655.4 crores have been seized and 4750 people arrested across the state in the last year.  

A national issue that it is, both the center and states should jointly work to eradicate the drug menace from the northeastern states. The problem should not stop at the seizure but is expected to go beyond and uproot the menace to the core. 

Shreya Arora
Shreya Arora

Researcher | Content-Writer
~"Learn continually - there's always 'one more thing' to learn!"

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