Gujarat authorities have seized illegal drugs worth more than Rs 22,000 crore in the last two months. According to government sources, these seizures are almost equal to India’s whole illegal narcotics market.
On September 11, 3,000 kg of heroin were recovered from Mundra port in Kutch, making it the highest recovery to date. This is India’s largest seizure of Afghan heroin smuggled through Iran. Since then, 145kg of drugs have been confiscated by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Ahmedabad Police in Morbi, Dwarka, and Ahmedabad.
The drugs were being brought in from Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan—countries that make up the so-called “Golden Crescent,” which produces over 80% of the world’s heroin. Given its proximity to West Asia and the fact that it has India’s longest coastline, the state has become a key transshipment route for drugs entering the country. Drugs that enter the state are then transported across the United States.
The opposition Congress has claimed that the BJP government is failing to take serious action against drug cartels and that government officials are working “hand in glove” with the criminals. Amit Chavda, a former Gujarat Congress president, has asked Governor Devvrat Acharya to take action against the criminals.
“The Congress wants strict action to control the drugs network and save the future generation,” Chavda wrote in a note to the governor. On college campuses across Gujarat, drugs are openly supplied. Drugs are being smuggled into Gujarat by water, with the assistance of foreign nationals, and border security is left to the gods.”
The drugs recovered in the upmarket Bopal neighbourhood of Ahmedabad were part of a consignment parcelled off to many pan shops for distribution, according to Ahmedabad Police. Two foreign-educated teenagers have been detained for running a narcotics ring out of a salon.
Gujarat has the country’s longest coastline at 1,640 kms, with 144 tiny islands dotting the coastline. This enormous coastline is guarded by only 22 marine police stations and three interceptor boats. “Gandhi’s coast has become a haven for the drug mafia due to a lack of sufficient security,” adds Chavda.
Despite popular belief, Harsh Sanghvi, minister of state for home, claims that the recovery of such a significant amount of drugs demonstrates that the police and other agencies are doing their jobs because the contraband was intercepted before it reached the general public.