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War on drugs: LG Sinha calls for making J&K narcotics-free

May 15, 2024

SRINAGAR, MAY 14: Pledging to make J&K a drug-free zone, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said the government has adopted a zero-tolerance against narcotics.

“We have adopted a policy of zero tolerance against drugs to make a drug-free J&K. Police, Civil Administration, and people should work together to eliminate this menace,” the Lt Governor said.

He was chairing a high-level meeting to review the functioning of the Home Department.

The meeting was attended by Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor; Sh Atal Dulloo, Chief Secretary; RR Swain, DGP J&K, Sh. Chandraker Bharti, Principal Secretary, Home Department, Dr. Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor and other senior officials.

The chair was briefed on the security grid, establishment of the Police Data Centre, modernization of Forensic capacities, and other projects under Security Related Expenditure (SRE).

The Lt Governor directed the officials to ensure the installation and operational efficiency of fire safety equipment in Government and public buildings.

The meeting also deliberated on the operationalization of drug de-addiction centers and measures to tackle the drug menace.

The Lt Governor discussed issues related to the strengthening of Police and allied organizations. He also discussed measures taken by the department for the implementation of new Criminal laws, which will come into effect from 1st July 2024. He also instructed the Department for proper training of police personnel on new criminal laws.

The Lt Governor emphasized efficient prison management and also took stock of the progress of projects under PMDP.

It is worth mentioning that the war on drugs has been intensified across Jammu and Kashmir with law enforcing agencies recovering 9 kg of heroin, 15.6 kg brown sugar, and 120.4 kg of charas besides other narcotic substances.

Official figures reveal 9 kg of heroin, 15.6 kg brown sugar, 120.4 kg charas, 567 kg poppy straw, 107 kg bhang, 33,967 caps/tablets, 70 injections, and 1229 syrup bottles were seized across J&K this year so far.

The figures were shared in a 9th UT level Apex committee meeting of NCORD held last month. Chaired by Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo,  the meeting was organized to discuss coordination among different stakeholders at the highest level to control illicit trade and supply of Narcotics in Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, Home, Special DG, Crime, ADGP, Jammu, Commissioner Secretary, GAD, Commissioner Secretary, Social Welfare, Commissioner Secretary, H&UDD, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir/Jammu, Secretary, RDD, Secretary, Education, Secretary, Health, IGP, Kashmir, Deputy Commissioners and representatives from NCB, SIA, Prosecution, BSF besides other concerned senior officers from civil and police administration.

The Chief Secretary enquired about the action taken and reports on previous decisions made in the meeting held on 1st January this year. He took notice of the measures taken up, so far, by the administration in the establishment of special NDPS courts and augmentation of drug de-addiction facilities across the districts.

Dulloo also had deep insights about the pharmacies adhering to the norms of having CCTVs installed and computerized billing for effective prevention of any misuse of psychotropic substances being sold by them. He told them to comply with these measures strictly without any fail besides ensuring regular monitoring of the footage captured by these CCTVs.

He took notice of the number of detentions made in the UT during the previous year and the proportion of successful convictions made in the court of law. He asked about the properties of drug dealers attached, so far.

The Chief Secretary also asked about the capacity building of Investigation Officers (IOs) improving their abilities to prepare cases professionally resulting in higher conviction rates. He sought details of the steps taken against the police personnel for not preparing cases as per the SOP resulting in frequent acquittals of arrested persons.

Dulloo maintained that the primary victims of this social threat are our youngsters so it is highly essential to have enhanced vigil around the educational institutions and other hotspots in each district. He called on initiating swift action against persons found indulging in any trade and supply of drugs.

The Chief Secretary discussed in detail the augmentation of drug de-addiction and long-term rehabilitation of victims in association with other departments like Social Welfare, Mission Youth, and RDD. He suggested having a reward policy in place for providing meaningful information about the traders involved in this illegal business.

He enquired from each of the participants about their suggestions for preventing people and possible actions to nip this evil from its roots out of the UT. He asked them to work with enhanced coordination with each other for total eradication of this trade thus making J&K ‘Nasha Mukht’ in a real sense.

In his presentation, Special DG Crime, Deepak Kumar, highlighted that this year the number of detentions and convictions have taken a quantum leap by laying more focus on carrying out quality investigation of NDPS cases. He also shared that effective deterrents are being put in place including sealing of properties of the people involved in this nefarious trade.

It was given out that the department has issued necessary orders for the establishment of special NDPS courts in J&K besides ensuring adherence to computerized billing and installation of CCTVs by the businesses including retailers and wholesale dealers.

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