Union Home Minister Amit Shah said here on Wednesday that the smuggling of narcotic drugs, including heroin, along the Gujarat coast has increased since last year, and that greater synergy, coordination, and cooperation among the various agencies is needed to combat the menace.
Pointing out that drug proliferation in India was a national issue, Shah said that all the efforts to combat this “should also be national”.Disclosing that 3.33 lakh kg of drugs valued at `20,000 crore were seized across the country between 2014 and 2022, Shah said that the corresponding figures for the period 2006-2013 were 1.52 lakh seized drugs valued at `768 crore.
In addition, there was a 152% increase in drug-related cases between 2006 and 2013, with 1,257 cases registered in western states, rising to 3,172 cases between 2014 and 2022, he said.
In the drug destruction drive on Wednesday, organised by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the Gujarat police at Ankleshwar, drugs worth `1,864 crore were destroyed. Of all the western Indian states, Gujarat alone accounted for the seizure of 12,438.96 kg drugs valued at `632.68 crore. About 1.65 lakh kg has been already burnt, a government statement said.
Shah exhorted the Maharashtra and Goa police to step up their efforts to curb the smuggling of drugs which he likened to “termites”. Following the drug burning exercise, Shah chaired a meeting on ‘Drug Trafficking and National Security’ at Gandhinagar, in which the chief ministers and home ministers of Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan and Gujarat, besides senior bureaucrats and police officers took part. The meeting was conducted on a hybrid mode.
The zonal meeting on combating the drug menace was the third over the last few months following similar conclaves in Chandigarh and Assam where Shah and other officials discussed preparing a national drug policy.
While “drugs are destroying our country like termites and adversely impacting the youth, drug money was funding terrorism,” Shah said that the use of forensic laboratories has gone up in the western states. Besides, he said the high courts are seeking special courts to try drugs-related cases even as training of public prosecutors in NCB programmes has shown encouraging signs.
Home minister asks Maha, Goa to step up efforts
On Wednesday, drugs worth ‘1,864 crore were destroyed during a drug destruction drive organised by the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Gujarat police in Ankleshwar. Gujarat alone accounted for the seizure of 12,438.96 kg of drugs worth ‘632.68 crore among all western Indian states. Union Home Minister Amit Shah urged Maharashtra and Goa police to increase their efforts to combat drug smuggling, which he compared to “termites.”