New Delhi, April 7: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said the Central government is committed to strictly act against the supply and smuggling of narcotics in the country.
Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the issue “Drug Abuse, Its Challenges and Regulation”, he added on Wednesday that in the last three years, 17,20,574 kg of drugs worth Rs 12,142 crore were seized in just five operations.
“I want to assure you that the government is committed to strictly stopping the supply and smuggling of narcotics and with a lot of sympathy, also trying to bring out the children who have become victims of it,” Shah said.
He added that several steps have been taken to destroy illegal cultivation (opium, poppy and cannabis). and the opium cultivation on nearly 2,100 acre was destroyed in 2013, 7,602 acre in 2017 and 10,798 acre in 2021.
Similarly, the cultivation of cannabis in 1,000 acre in 2013, 8,515 acre in 2017 and 26,717 acre in 2021 were destroyed by the government agencies.
The Union Home Minister informed the Committee that an inter-ministerial committee constituted to prevent misuse of dual-use prescription drugs and precursor chemicals through dark net and crypto-currency while a task force has been set up to address this issue.
During the meeting, Shah said a comprehensive drug training module is being prepared at the national level to train police, armed police force personnel and public prosecutors.
“As on date, India has bilateral agreements with 27 countries, Memorandum of Understanding with 15 countries and has signed two agreements on security cooperation with Germany and Saudi Arabia,” the Minister informed the parliamentary panel.
He said the government has taken a slew of stringent measures to check smuggling in the border areas, various border guarding forces like BSF, SSB and Assam Rifles have been empowered to prohibit narcotics’ smuggling under the NDPS Act, 1985, while the border mapping and specialised surveillance tools are being used.
A multi-agency maritime security group has been created in November 2021 to reduce the problem of smuggling by sea routes, he added.
The Union Home Minister also assured all Members of the Committee that under the visionary guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his vision of “Nasha Mukt Bharat” (addiction-free India), all agencies, departments and ministries are taking several concrete and coordinated steps against drug abuse.