Home Minister Amit Shah said the fight against drugs, intensified by the north-eastern States, would lead to a unified approach across the country.
At the regional conference of Chief Ministers, Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of the eight States in the northeast on Saturday evening, he acknowledged drug consumption in the region as a serious problem. The issue also dominated his meeting with Assam’s Superintendents of Police in Golaghat district’s Dergaon on Sunday evening.
Mr. Shah said the drug dealers in the northeast strike deals with Myanmar-based syndicates that operate through accounts in some banks in Manipur.
“Drug smugglers from the northeast are also in collusion with Nigerians. Suspected involvement of South Indians living in the northeast in drug smuggling has also been observed,” he said, stressing better coordination among drug enforcement and intelligence agencies to tackle the “borderless crime”.
Mr. Shah said the Ministry of Home Affairs has resolved to fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a “drug-free India” and a “zero tolerance policy” has been adopted to thwart every attempt of drug traffickers and “organised mafia” to dent India’s economy and national security.
He lauded the enforcement agencies for destroying more than 1.5 lakh kg of drugs during the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ phase, which was more than double the target of 75,000 kg set by the government.
“The main objective of this regional conference is to convey the Centre’s seriousness about this issue to the north-eastern States. Also, we have to bring the States together in this fight and the agencies related to narcotics on one platform, giving a message at the national level that the country has made up its mind to go to the root of this problem and solve it,” Mr. Shah said.
“We have to go beyond catching the faces like drug abusers and distributors and try to nab the masterminds who send drugs from outside the border to India. Along with this, the spread of drug network within the country will have to be demolished. Our prime focus should be on preventing network and cross-border smuggling,” he said.
Prior to inaugurating the conference of Assam’s SPs, Mr. Shah chaired the 70th plenary session of the North Eastern Council, where the focus was on connectivity and resolution of inter-State boundary disputes.