New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) Expressing his concern over drug trafficking, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday that India is vulnerable to the crime as it is located between two largest opium producing regions of the world – the Golden Crescent in the west and Golden Triangle in the east.
In his address at the closing ceremony of the two-day national conference on Drug Law Enforcement organized by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), he said: “Drug trafficking and abuse pose serious threat to our societies and is matter of serious concern for all of us.”
He said that drugs endanger peace, health and stability across regions and it places a heavy burden on public health systems, and appealed to all to work towards prevention of narcotic drug abuse.
Emphasizing on supply reduction and demand reduction of drugs, Rajnath Singh said that diversion of precursor chemicals and production and trafficking of new psychoactive substances poses another challenge.
He pointed out that during 2017, various drug law enforcement agencies effected seizure of 1,991 kg opium, 2,189 kg heroin, 1,96,792 kg ganja, 2,657 kg hashish and 67 kg cocaine.
Expressing concern over involvement of foreign nationals in drug peddling, he said that it poses another significant challenge of drug trafficking in India.
“During 2017, 332 foreign national have been arrested in drug cases in India. These foreign nationals were found involved in trafficking of cocaine from South America to India via Africa and trafficking of heroin and precursor chemicals to South East Asia and Africa,” he said.
Rajnath Singh highlighted several policies and initiatives by the government to deal with drug trafficking problem and said that for effective coordination with foreign countries including neighboring countries, India has signed 37 bilateral agreements.
He also called for identifying drug syndicates and cartels and their kingpins and take stern action against them to disrupt their illegal business.
“We need to spread more awareness among the public particularly among youth about ill effects of drug abuse and need to create adequate infrastructure for treatment, rehabilitation and harm reduction for the victim of the drug abuse,” he said.
The conference, attended by 50 state law enforcement agencies involved in combating drug trafficking, was inaugurated by Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir on Friday.