New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday asserted for a complete control on drug trafficking in India, saying that the government has devised a plan to establish an “impregnable” mechanism to curb inflow and outflow of such substances.
Speaking at the BIMSTEC conference on ‘Combating Drug Trafficking’, the Minister said that India is determined to stop the smuggling of narcotic substances in the whole world.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation comprising seven countries — India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, that fall in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.
Expecting that the conference will open various new ways in combating drug trafficking, Shah said: “I assure you all that neither we will let narcotic substances enter into India from anywhere in the world nor allow such drugs to go out from India.”
The Minister said that the Indian government has prepared a plan to control the smuggling of narcotic substances in a complete way and that it has been working to overhaul the current mechanism of prosecution agencies to deal with the menace.
“We are going to establish an impregnable mechanism for complete restriction on smuggling of narcotic substances and cases related to it by changing the current frame of prosecution agencies as well as the mechanism to ensure coordination between all enforcement agencies,” he said.
Mentioning that India has adopted “zero tolerance” policy for narcotics substances, the Home Minister appealed to all BIMSTEC member countries for their united efforts to deal issues like drug trafficking.
“All the countries connected with Bay of Bengal are very close to India in cultural, geographical, political way so there is a need for our united efforts on different subjects.”
He said that this is the purpose for which “we all are present in this forum today”.
Talking about the seriousness of the drug trafficking issue, Shah quoted the UN’s World Drug Report and said that over 5 per cent of the global population between 15-64 years of age is addicted to narcotics and use of illicit drugs.
The Home Minister expressed concern that the rate of addiction is showing a fast increase a 30 per cent rise in the last 10 years and termed drug addiction as a curse for mankind.
Shah cited an estimate of over $400 billion of yearly illicit drug trade happening globally, giving an idea of the size of the mammoth issue facing humanity.
The Minister said that Manipur and Mizoram having borders with Myanmar and other coastal states are sensitive and may become a gateway for illicit drugs entering India, which needs to be prevented.
On steps taken by the Centre in combating drug trafficking, Shah said that the union government has laid down a well thought out strategy to increase coordination among the agencies of the Centre as well as states and the Home Ministry has established a joint coordination committee to increase surveillance over drug trafficking.
The two-day conference, beginning on Thursday, aims to deliberate on the threats posed by drug trafficking in the seven member BIMSTEC countries and steps to negate them. India first time hosted the BIMSTEC nations’ conference on ‘Combating Drug Trafficking’.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the federal agency for drug law enforcement, organised the conference here at the Vigyan Bhawan. The conference is the result of the commitment made in this context by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 4th BIMSTEC summit in Nepal’s Kathmandu in 2018.
A recent seizure of 1,527 kgs of methamphetamine in two tranches by the NCB established the fact that the Bay of Bengal region was impregnated with the drug-trafficking menace, the agency has said.