Mumbai

Cops don counseller’s hat, warn children against dangers of narcotics

Awareness drive: A policeman adresses students and parents outside a school in Dongri and (right) officials from JJ Marg police station display posters in a school

Awareness drive: A policeman adresses students and parents outside a school in Dongri and (right) officials from JJ Marg police station display posters in a school  

Conduct campaigns in schools, colleges in various parts of city after rise in peddlers arrested near educational institutes

The Mumbai Police conducted awareness seminars about the ill effects of drug abuse at schools in the Dongri division on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking last week.

The division has, in the last couple of years, seen a rise in the Nigerian drug peddler menace, with the police even invoking the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against them in one case.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Avinash Dharmadhikari, Dongri division, said the seminars were held at four schools in jurisdictions of the JJ Marg and the Dongri police stations, with hundreds of students in attendance.

“The students were made aware of how addictive and damaging narcotics can be, and how difficult it was to break away from the habit,” an officer who was part of the seminars said.

Another officer said that schools were chosen as venues for the seminars after the local police and the Anti Narcotics Cell arrested several drug peddlers near educational institutions in the area.

Cops don counseller’s hat, warn children against dangers of narcotics

Posters that said, “Love yourself, choose life over drugs, say no to drugs” were also displayed.

The police in the Dongri division have launched a sustained crackdown in the area over the last couple of years, after a rise was observed in incidents of drug peddling. The crackdown intensified after some police personnel were attacked by the drug peddlers on two occasions.

In April this year, they invoked the MCOCA, which comes with a higher penal sentence and makes it difficult for the accused to secure bail, against four drug peddlers arrested for selling mephedrone.

The police are also planning an awareness campaign in collaboration with Hussain Chhatriwala, a reformed drug addict who now runs a rehabilitation centre in Murbad, in which reformed addicts will share the stories of their decline into as well as their freedom from drug addiction.

Meanwhile, the Thane police, too, held awareness campaigns in their jurisdiction, during which seminars, panel discussions and lectures were held in colleges in Thane, Kalyan and Ulhasnagar. The lectures were conducted by officers from the Thane Anti Narcotics Cell and Crime Branch, as well as doctors and mental health experts in order to explain the physical, psychological and legal hazards of drug abuse.

Officers said that the awareness campaigns were aimed at college students, slum dwellers and daily wage labourer, who are among the biggest consumer base of street drug peddlers. Public meeting were also held at busy squares in various locations.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 10:58:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/cops-don-counsellers-hat-warn-children-against-dangers-of-narcotics/article28237330.ece

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