Illegal drugs flood Guwahati markets
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Illegal drugs flood Guwahati markets

Nehal Jain | June 08, 2019 17:17 hrs

GUWAHATI: The business of drugs has seen a rapid escalation in Guwahati in the past few years. A wide range of drugs including ganja, heroin, opium, party drugs and psychotropic substances have flooded the Guwahati market. 

Drug addicts and peddlers have found multiple ways to continue their business rampantly right under the nose of authorities in spite of the efforts put up to curb this addiction that is slowly destroying nations.


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In 2016, Assam Police had recorded the highest number of cases under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act over the last decade. It showed a threefold rise in cases from 121 registered in 2006 to 382 cases registered in 2016. 

In the last four years (2015-2018), a total of 1,410 cases have been registered with the Assam police under the NDPS Act. Interestingly, the number of cases registered in 2018 was 2.5 times the number of cases registered in 2015.  

In 2018 alone, as many as 455 cases under NDPS Act were registered with the Assam police. However, a senior police official told G Plus that the actual cases occurring in the state is much more than those registered.
 
“The business of drugs is sustaining because of the demand-supply forces. Since Assam lies in the centre of the Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent, it’s very difficult to cut down on the supply. The Assam police is thus focusing on cutting down the demand among citizens by means of generating awareness and providing counseling,” informed a senior official in the Assam police. 

It must be noted that over 90% of the world’s drugs are produced in the Golden Triangle (the area where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet) and Golden Crescent (the area overlapping Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan).
 
With a wide variety of narcotic substances available in the city, Guwahati has emerged as the transit point for many gangs and cartels. The city’s location makes it vulnerable to receiving and forwarding drugs from and to different destinations including the mainland and neighboring countries.

Assam police strengthens drive against drug peddlers

Drug usage in Assam, particularly in Guwahati, has seen a drastic increase over the years. With the number of cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 increasing year after year, so is the Assam police’s performance in nabbing the culprits.

By April 2019, over 150 substance abusers and drug peddlers had been arrested in Guwahati. The police authorities are on high alert to dig out the scavengers who are running the drug empire to cut down on drug usage and free the youth from their grasp.

With the aim to spread awareness concerning the effects of substance abuse, the police along with CID have been carrying out various drives in the city. The Assam Police, through the medium of its social media pages, have been regularly generating awareness about various crimes. The Assam CID, too, has been organizing awareness programs across the city. The most recent program was held at a branch of Canara Bank on June 4, Tuesday. 

“Drugs can grip anyone irrespective of their background,” expressed LR Bishnoi, Additional Director General of Police, CID.

He informed G Plus that the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs in the state is happening across all age profiles, irrespective of class, colour, caste or religion. However, in most cases, the accused is 20-45 years old. Further, consumption of such substances is happening across all geographical locations of the state – be it urban or rural areas.

Thus, the CID has been organizing its drives for people from all walks of life, including students, government employees and lawyers.
 
Further, the police have also intensified its drive against drug peddlers and distributors of psychotropic substances operating in the city. 

In reference to the 1,410 cases registered in the state from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2018, the police arrested 2,163 drug peddlers/consumers and addicts in those four years. Police arrested 328 people in 2015, 586 in 2016, 559 in 2017 and 690 in 2018 from across the state. 

In what can be termed as one of the biggest crackdown on drugs, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Assam Police seized over 2.60 lakh psychotropic tablets and 4,700 bottles of cough syrup, valued at Rs 19.40 lakhs, from an unauthorized godown in the Hojai district and arrested the owner of the storage.

Cases registered under NDPS Act in Assam

Year

Number of cases

2015

206

2016

382

2017

367

2018

455

 

People arrested in connection with NDPS cases

Year

Number of arrests

2015

328

2016

586

2017

559

2018

690

 

Heroin seized in Assam

Year

Quantity of Heroin seized

2015

1.3 kg

2016

10 kg

2017

6 kg

2018

7.1 kg

 

Ganja seized in Assam

Year

Quantity of ganja seized

2015

3233 kg

2016

4366 kg

2017

7125 kg

2018

10400 kg

 

Opium seized in Assam

Year

Quantity of opium seized

2015

25 kg

2016

75 kg

2017

30 kg

2018

9 kg

 

Morphine seized in Assam

Year

Quantity of morphine seized

2015

1.5 kg

2016

2.9 kg

2017

4.6 kg

2018

3 kg

 

Cough syrup seized in Assam

Year

Quantity of cough syrup seized (in bottles)

2015

96700

2016

2.22 lakhs

2017

1.48 lakhs

2018

1.30 lakhs

 

Psychotropic substances seized in Assam

Year

Quantity of psychotropic substances seized

2015

1.95 lakhs

2016

1.63 lakhs

2017

1.68 lakhs

2018

30.9 lakhs

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