Is PM's drug-free India an attainable dream?

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Bengaluru, Dec 30: Very recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on the youth of India to make India drug free. While the first part of the problem can be tackled with will power, the second part of preventing the inflow of drugs into India is a huge task ahead especially for the Border Security Force.

The statistics by the Narcotic Control Bureau paints a scary picture and the past few years have seen several 1000 kilograms of drugs being seized. While speaking about the drug syndicate in India the first thought that comes to mind is the D Gang. However there is much more to it and it would take the Border Security Force a herculean task to keep the Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent under check to ensure that India does not witness a free flow of drugs.

drugs

The Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent:

The main supply of drugs into India happens from the Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent. The Golden triangle is an area that covers 350000 square kilometers of land in South east asia, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.

The Golden Crescent on the other hand includes Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. It is through these areas that a major push of both heroin and opium was made. However today drugs that are pushed into the market are synthetic in nature.

According to the NCB, it is the geographical location of India which makes it vulnerable to drug trafficking

The pattern:

The major pattern of drug trafficking into India has been found through South West Asia. There are enough patterns to suggest that drugs are being pushed in through Sri Lanka and the Maldives off late.

Statistics would reveal that a great amount of hashish is being sent in from Nepal. Foreign nationals too have found to be involved in drug smuggling and when it comes to heroin it is the Nigerians who smuggle it in and in the case of Cocaine it is the Israelis.

The latest trend also indicates that Ketamine is another substance that is being pushed into India off late.

Heroin:

This drug which is semi synthetic in nature enters into India through the Indo-Pak border. This drug was in big demand several years back. However, now there is a declining trend in the sale of this drug.

The year 2011 alone saw a dip of 33 per cent in the smuggling of this drug and this is largely attributed to less demand and increased seizure by the police.

Ganja:

The most commonly available drug, this continues to be a major draw and is cultivated in 170 countries. The production of ganja annually is 63000 tonnes.

The trafficking into India of ganja takes place largely through the North Eastern border. This is followed by trafficking along the Indo-Nepal, Indo-Myanmar, Andhra-Odisha and Bihar-Uttar Pradesh areas.

Hashish:

The smuggling of hashish generates from the Nepal border. Almost 49 per cent of seizures of hashish have taken place on the Nepal border. This would mean that the NCB had a lot of work in Uttar Pradesh which had become the landing point for hashish.

The NCB says that the smuggling of hashish has been brought largely under control now and also the fact that the demand has reduced has helped the cause.

Cocaine:

Now this is a very high demand drug and the recent trends would show that it has been in high demand. The trends indicate that a large part of the cocaine is distributed to the world from South America.

In India it is brought in by the West African drug smugglers. These smugglers have found several ways to bring in the cocaine and there have been instances of it being smuggled into India in courier parcels as well.

Ketamine:

This is known as the club drug and has gained in popularity over the years and sadly India is the source nation for this drug. Indian drug lords smuggle this drug which originally is an anaesthetic used in veterinary hospitals is supplied heavily in Spain, France, Canada and the US.

This drug was legally sold in India for medical purposes. However when it was realized that it was being smuggled out, the government notified Ketamine in the list of Psychotropic substances in the year 2011.

Since the notification of this drug in the list even the seizures have gone up and in the past two years, over 1800 kilos of this drug have been seized.

What needs to be done?

Officers of the NCB tell OneIndia that there is a lot of coordination that is needed and drug smuggling cannot be treated as a central problem alone. There is a lot that the states need to do in this regard.

Regional coordination meetings and multi agency meetings by the intelligence bureau and the NCB are being held at the moment. This is done to share and exchange information regarding the problem.

Further it is also mandatory that the agencies guarding the border needs to coordinate with the IB and the NCB for leads and alerts. Currently there is the SSB on the Nepal border, BSF on the Pakistan and Bangladesh border, Assam rifle on Myanmar border tackling the problem. The role of the coast guard is also very important to curb the problem in coastal states.

Apart from the security agencies even international cooperation and judicial activism is needed. While International cooperation helps in information sharing and extradition, judicial activism would result in speedy trials and convictions acting as a deterrent.

Reducing addiction:

At the start of the article we mentioned that it would take will power on part of the addicts to stop this problem. In order to do this the social justice and empowerment ministry too has a major role to play.

Currently in India there over 400 de addiction and rehabilitation centres. These centres and also volunteers will need to create awareness. The role of a community based intervention for identifying the problem is also a key aspect in curbing this menace.

OneIndia News

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