Sale and usage of narcotic drugs is high in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad among the cities in southern India, the Narcotics Control Bureau, Chennai, zonal director, Davidson, said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference here during the two-day training programme organised by the NCB for Hyderabad police officials, he said the Bureau would strengthen the staff to effectively tackle drug peddlers in the city. Mr. Davidson said the Hyderabad police were taking initiative to fight against smuggling and sale of drugs and the NCB would assist them to control the menace.

He felt the law-enforcing agencies should not confine themselves to booking cases against the drug peddlers but also ensure the accused were convicted. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act comprised provisions to confiscate properties of the accused and the police should make use of this to check the drug rackets.

According to him, arrested drug peddlers admitted during interrogation that selling drugs was easier in southern parts of the country than that of northern. The risk was less but the profits were high, the accused told their interrogators.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner, A.K. Khan, said the police were identifying the routes through which drugs were being smuggled into the city. Since some foreigners were involved in the cases, a tab would be kept on foreigners frequently travelling abroad. The foreigners already arrested by the police in such cases would also be kept under surveillance.

Additional Commissioner, Crimes, Santosh Mehra, said that the percentage of people joining the army from Punjab State was high earlier, but eventually it decreased. Increased use and sale of drugs was described as one of the reasons for this phenomenon, he said. The Foreign Students Association president, Ivan Ruby of Mozambique, said it was not correct to say that foreign students were involved in usage of drugs. “The arrested were foreigners but not students in its true sense. They came here on some other pretext and claim themselves to be students for an alibi,” he remarked.