Updated 25 Jul 2022, 7:59 pm
Once again, the involvement of police personnel in the drug trade has come to the fore with Assam Police nabbing a police personnel posted at border town Moreh along with another while trying to smuggle a load of banned substances.
Assam Police had in recent times become very active in battling the drug menace ever since Himanta Biswa Sarma took charge as the chief minister and the police force had become extra vigilant of vehicles originating from neighbouring state Manipur.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had also been very active in battling the drug menace with him declaring War on Drugs second edition. Yet, drug consignments still manage to slip through the dragnet.
One has to review the entire process of stopping the drug trade, as Manipur being a origin of drugs is not a very good reputation in the eyes of other states. To begin with, we can start by asking a question as to how do one measure the rate of success in such a campaign? As the campaign necessitates a multi-pronged strategy, several indicators of measuring success come to mind.
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Well, the quantity of seizure of drugs and other psychotropic substances would certainly be one of the indicators, but there are other factors to be considered as well. For example, the sincerity and honesty of the police officials assigned with drug enforcement, the quality of prosecution and conviction in drug related cases are very important factors.
One must keep in mind that, Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act in short NDPS is a special Act which facilitates speedy investigation and prosecution as well as conviction and the quality of work put in by investigators and prosecutors for bringing cases to a logical end is also one of the important determinants of measuring success in such a campaign.
Ever since the second edition of the campaign started on March 20 this year, several enforcement agencies, including police and security forces have seized illegal drugs worth over Rs 182 crore in the international market and arrested as many as 140 ‘alleged’ drug traffickers so far while a total of 380 acres of poppy cultivation were destroyed within the two months period.
The state is preparing to dispose 719.25 kg of contraband Ganja, 940 grams of Brown Sugar, 18.7555 kg of Heroin Powder, 87 kg of WY Tablets (Methamphetamine), and 20 kg of Crystal Ice (Methamphetamine) with due permission from the court.
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In the past, there were cases of seized drugs missing from the evidence locker of the Police Malkhana and in some cases turning into flour which has led to such court mandated disposal of seized drugs. Not only this, complicity of police personnel in some cases of drug smuggling has been reported in the past and in recent times also.
In fact, it is not only Manipur police but most police forces are afflicted with this disease of police corruption and complicity in drug smuggling and peddling as well. Chief Minister N Biren Singh needs to have a plan for curbing police corruption if he wants to really succeed in his campaign. And again, the quantity of drugs seized is not an important determinant for success as analysts across the world used to say it is only the tip of the iceberg.
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Chief Minister Biren said, some of the arrested traffickers are serving a jail term of 14-15 years. But it is also a fact that the rate of conviction in NDPS related cases is still very low either due to lack of sincerity or expertise in investigation or prosecution and most of the persons lodged in jails in drug related cases are in fact undertrial prisoners or detainees.
However in the wake of alleged involvement of several police personnel in the drug trade, a deep investigation by either the National Investigation Agency (NIA) or any other impartial agency is needed to flush out the irritants and polluters. On the other hand, a combination of forces tasked with fighting the drug menace at both central and state level is required in terms of sharing intelligence and carrying out raids.
First published:25 Jul 2022, 7:59 pm
war on drugsdrug menacedrug smugglingdrug traffickingdrug trade