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Amit Shah’s multi-pronged strategies bearing fruits; drug seizure rises 30 times in nine years



Aimed at eliminating the menace of drug abuse, Home Minister Amit Shah’s multi-pronged strategies are yielding results, taking the country closer to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Drug-free India” target in the Amrit Kaal period.

According to official data, during the 2014-2022 period, the value of seized drugs has gone up 30 times to Rs 22,000 crore compared with the last eight years (2006-2013) of the UPA regime. The number of persons arrested trebled and at 3.73 lakh kg, the number of drugs seized more than doubled. During the 2014-2022 period, a total of 3,544 cases have been registered, nearly double the number reported during the 2006-2013 period.

Drug abuse is a matter of concern for the whole country. Addiction to the drug makes the youth unproductive and a burden on society. Drug money is often used in terror financing and thus, a challenge to national security.

Adopting a “zero-tolerance policy against narcotics”, the Home Ministry under Shah has formulated a three-pronged strategy. It has strengthened the institutional framework to ensure better cohesion and synergy between the central and state drug law enforcement agencies and restructured the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) cadre. NCB has also been asked to prepare a detailed national database related to narcotics, Nacro-funding and narco-terror cases has been prepared which also analyses drug trafficking trends and criminals.

Keeping that 60-70% of narcotics drugs are smuggled into the country mainly through the sea route, the Home Minister has created a high-level dedicated task force in the National Security Council Secretariat to analyse drug smuggling through the sea route. The Ministry of port shipping & waterways, navy, coast guard, and central of indirect taxes & customs have representatives in the secretariat.

Apart from financial investigation to catch hold of drug money, Shah directed the ministry to prepare a complete drug network chart and map the source and destination of the drugs.  

As part of its second strategy, the Home Ministry has, under the “Whole of Government Approach”, taken up a series of measures to ensure better coordination between the NARCO agencies, both at the centre and the state level, so that these institutions work in cohesion and with accountability to combat the collective menace. As per the direction of the Home Minister, dedicated anti-narcotics task force (ANTF) units have been formed in all states and union territories. The ministry is also working on stopping the use of the dark net and cryptocurrency in the illegal drug trade.

The ministry’s third strategy — to sensitise common people against the use of the drug — has received tremendous response. More than 30 lakh people have pledged to act against drugs under the “Drug-free India” pledge campaign, launched by the NCB.

With the aim of controlling the international drug mafia, Shah has ensured coordination with international agencies such as Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Australian Federal Police (AFP), and Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP) among others. While such co-ordinations are yielding results, bilateral agreements have been signed with 44 countries.

 To prevent the cultivation of illegal drugs, the NCB has destroyed nearly 36,000 acres of poppy cultivation and 82,769 acres of cannabis cultivation in the last three years. Drones are being used to map and destroy illicit crops under cultivation in remote hilly areas.

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