KERALA

Special, unified task force to combat drug menace

The anti-drug enforcement mechanisms established by the Kerala police will soon undergo a massive change with the department all set to constitute a unified task force to check the multi-modal and multi-layered smuggling of narcotic substances in the State.

According to officials, State Police Chief Loknath Behera recently issued a directive to set up the new agency with a view to countering the drug menace in the State. The new unit, to be constituted by integrating the existing Anti-Narcotic Squad with the Kerala Anti-Narcotic Special Action Force (KANSAF), is slated to be operational in two weeks.

The directive says that the Inspector General of Police, Kochi Range, will have the total command over the unit. Chiefs of select police districts will also be its members.

It will be divided into district-level units and each unit, to be named as District Anti-Narcotic Special Action Force (DANSAF), will be headed by the respective district police chief and will have one Deputy or Assistant Superintendent as the team leader. Each unit will comprise a core group of 15 personnel of different ranks. Members of narcotic cells will also be part of the new team.

The units are required to conduct review meetings fortnightly to chalk out action plans. Similarly, district police chiefs are required to submit a performance report to the State chief in the first week of every month.

“Besides Intelligence, the teams will liaise with Central enforcement agencies and other States to collect, collate and share information on supply of drugs,” said P. Vijayan, Kochi Range IG. “To begin with, we will prepare a list of narcotic offenders from the past 10 years and constantly monitor their activities,” he said.

Specialised training will be imparted to team members to handle offenders with national and international links. Plans are also afoot to deploy a sniffer dog squad, besides other capacity building initiatives.

Drug abuse cases

The State has witnessed a sharp rise in number of drug abuse cases. Excise Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh had recently stated that Kochi stood second only to Amritsar in terms of the highest number of drug abuse cases in the country.

As per data with the Kerala Police, over 5,200 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act have been registered in the State in the first eight months of 2017. As many as 5,924 cases were recorded in 2016 as against 4,103 cases the previous year.


Action plan

  • New unit to be constituted by integrating existing Anti-Narcotic Squad with Kerala Anti-Narcotic Special Action Force

  • Inspector General of Police, Kochi Range, to have total command over unit

  • Chiefs of select police districts to be members

  • Unit to be divided into district-level units; each unit to be named District Anti-Narcotic Special Action Force (DANSAF)

  • DANSAF to be headed by the respective district police chief and will have one Deputy or Assistant Superintendent as the team leader