Speed Post News Network
New Delhi : Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on March 24, 2018, said that India is vulnerable to narcotic drug trafficking as it is located between two largest Opium producing regions of the world i.e. Golden Crescent in the west and Golden Triangle in the east. He was speaking at the closing Ceremony of the two-day national conference on Drug Law Enforcement organized by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Ministry of Home Affairs, here.
Rajnath said that drug trafficking and abuse pose serious threat to our societies and is matter of serious concern for all of us. He said that drugs endanger peace, health and stability across regions and place a heavy burden on public health systems. He said diversion of precursor chemicals and production and trafficking of New Psychoactive Substances poses another challenge. The Minister also highlighted that the illicit cultivation of Opium and Cannabis in some parts is a matter of concern and it must be stopped.
Rajnath pointed out that during 2017, various drug law enforcement agencies effected seizure of 1,991 kg Opium, 2,189 kg Heroin, 1,96,792 kg Ganja, 2,657 kg Hashish and 67 kg Cocaine. Various agencies also carried out destruction of illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy all over the country, he said.
The Minister also said that involvement of foreign nationals in drug peddling poses another significant challenge in India. He said that during 2017, 332 foreign national were arrested in drug cases in India. He added that these foreign nationals were found involved in trafficking of Cocaine from South America to India via Africa and trafficking of Heroin and Precursor chemicals to South East Asia and Africa.
The Minister said out that for effective coordination with foreign countries including neighboring countries, India has signed 37 Bilateral Agreements/Memoranda of Understanding. In last four years, he said, we have signed 5 Bilateral Agreements/MoUs with Australia, Singapore, Mozambique, Thailand and Nepal in drug matters, according to a PIB release.
Taking note of emerging drug abuse pattern, he said the government had scheduled 7 new substances into the list of Narcotic drugs in 2017 so that action can be taken against trafficking in these substances. The Minister said the Narcotics Control Bureau has been provided funds for developing a new software i.e. Seizure Information Management System (SIMS) which will create a complete online database of drug offences and offenders.
Rajnath said the government has constituted a fund called “National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse” to meet the expenditure incurred on combating illicit traffic in Narcotic Drug, Psychotropic Substances, identifying, treating and rehabilitating addicts, and educating public against drug abuse. Further, he added, the government is conducting National Drug Abuse Survey to measure extent, pattern and trends of drug abuse in India through Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment with the help of National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS.
The Home Minister also called for identifying drug syndicates & cartels and their kingpins and taking stern action against them to disrupt their illegal business.