The city police have stepped up their drive against drug abuse, writes

G. Krishnakumar

The city police will intensify its drive against drug abuse. The drive, titled ‘Navodayam,’ was launched with much fanfare on May 31.

It was conceived as a three-pronged approach — awareness drive, enforcement and rehabilitation.

The drive will now focus on the enforcement part. “Nearly 20 cases were registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act during the last one week.

We aim to cut the supply side at a single go,” said Manoj Abraham, City Police Commissioner.

Hot spots

West Kochi was identified as one of the hot spots for sale and use of narcotic drugs.

“The other key area is Kalamassery. Cases from the rest of the city are small in number,” said Mr. Abraham.

The force is also trying to overcome the hurdle of not being able to book peddlers with small quantities in their possession.

The rule makes it a bailable offence and most of the vendors returned to the street in no time.

“We have now stepped up the number of cases registered, irrespective of the quantity of the catch. With a couple of more cases registered, we can put repeated offenders under detention under the Kerala Anti-Social Activities Prevention Ordinance (known as Goonda Act),” said Sunil Jacob, Assistant Commissioner, Mattanchery.

The drive will generate enough support among the public, the police say. This has been proven by the increased information flow about narcotic sellers.

A 30-member team has been constituted to look into complaints received over phone.

This will reduce the response time for each call. “We make sure that we reach the spot within 10 minutes,” said Mr. Jacob.

The police say that while most calls are genuine, there are some bogus ones also.

Rehabilitation

Along with enforcement, the police have also started the rehabilitation part of the drive.

“A couple of centres, like the hospital in Kannamali and Gautam Hospital in Mattanchery, have agreed to take in patients,” said Mr. Jacob.

He said the intensive drive would be continued for one month, after which a review would be made to identify loopholes in the implementation part.

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