Flourishing Drug Trade in Himachal
Drug trafficking is rising in Himachal, especially in borders districts of the state that have porous slip roads connecting with neighbouring
Himachal This Week Team cover story
Drug trafficking is rising in Himachal, especially in borders districts of the state that have porous slip roads connecting with neighbouring states. The police have arrested a number of persons in Kangra, Una, Solan, and Sirmour districts for their alleged involvement in drug peddling. In addition, charas production and smuggling has made Kullu infamous for such activities also with oldest democracy of Malana in the valley accounting for illegal production of drugs. Drug sellers use various means in different areas for transportation of drugs from neighbouring states or from within the state to different destinations. Surprisingly, charas is reportedly smuggled from Kullu valley in vehicles carrying vegetables and fruits grown in the area as these are seldom checked. Drug paddlers are targeting youth especially those studying in educational institutes as their prospective users of drugs.
* Narcotic cell has been directed to initiate stringent action against those involved in trafficking of drugs. In addition, cops in plain clothes are deputed around educational institutes to keep a vigil on suppliers and consumers of drugs
-Sanjay Kumar, DGP, Himachal Pradesh
Cases Registered under ND&PS Act
* 433 up to June 30, 2016 with recovery of 231. 240 kg charas in Himachal
* 622 cases registered in 2015
* 644 cases registered in 2014
District wise cases in 2016 (Up to 30.6.2016)
* 115 cases in Shimla district
* 68 in Kangra district
* 65 in Kullu district
* 22 in Chamba district
* 18 in Sirmour district
* 11 in BBN area
* 7 in Una district
Drug Peddlers Increase Activities in Border Districts
Surrounded on three sides by Punjab border, Una district is also becoming hub of drug trafficking with more youth falling prey to the menace. Situation is more serious in Haroli and Amb sub divisions as youth are becoming addicts to opium husk, charas, ganja and even chitta being smuggled from Punjab. Supplies of drugs are clandestinely received from Rajasthan and Punjab due to porous borders of Himachal. Drug mafia people mostly target youth and educational institutes as they allure gullible persons into the trade of drugs. The situation is similar in other border districts like Kangra, Sirmour and Solan where drug trafficking and drug addicts are increasing at an alarming rate.
As drug selling has increased in border districts of the state, Himachal This week talked to Superintendents of Police of districts having border with neighbouring states to know about the activities of drug paddlers and steps taken by them to check the same.
* What is the prevalence of smuggling of drugs from Punjab ?
* What steps have been taken to check this practice?
* How many cases registered under NDPS Act this year?
* The police have launched a special campaign against drug paddlers to tighten noose around them. We have identified such people and initiated action against them
* Cops are keeping a close vigil on slip roads bordering with Punjab state besides cracking down on centres running such activities on border areas.
* Dozens of people have been arrested and 50,000 psychotropic drug capsules and 15 kg charas has been seized.
* Smuggling of drugs is prevalent in Sirmour district that is surrounded by three states. The police have tightened noose around such people as drug mafia people from Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh have been arrested.
* We have strengthened information gathering by sensitising youth, villagers, small businessmen and yuva mandals. A documentary depicting bad impact of drugs is also publicised to create awareness among youth.
* Nearly 35 cases have been registered under NDPS Act in first six months of this year.
* One cannot deny smuggling of drugs from Punjab as mafia people target innocent and simple people here.
* We have reinforced our CID wing to keep a watch around educational institutes besides holding awareness camps for youth to stay away from this menace.
* The police have arrested nearly two dozen people in 15 months who were involved in smuggling of drugs.
Drugs Sale Rising in BBN Area
With large quantities of different drugs like poppy husk, ganja and heroin being seized by the police in this industrial belt of Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh in recent days, its consumption appears to be catching up.The area has more than 10,000 trucks with the presence of Asia’s largest truck union and these drugs are usually consumed by drivers. Presence of several universities and other educational institutions has led to the presence of a large number of youngsters and these drugs are reportedly consumed by this section too. Small time traders including kiosk owners are among those who are allegedly indulging in selling these drugs to the drivers and youngsters. Drug traders are targeting these sections and the high demand of drugs among this section has increased its smuggling. The police have stepped up its vigil and at least half a dozen such cases have been traced. Drugs are reportedly smuggled from as far as Rajasthan besides neighbouring states Punjab and Haryana. Their easy trading has also shocked the police which was now trying to crack down on such operators.Though the police has achieved some success in arresting some drug peddlers, including women, but they were yet to crack down on the entire network which appears to have spread its tentacles in the entire area.
* SIT has been constituted to check incidents of charas smuggling and its results are positive in curbing such cases in Chamba district.
-Dr. Virender Tomar SP, Chamba
Vegetables Route for Smuggling of Charas in Kullu
World famous tourist destination of Kullu valley has also become infamous for smuggling of charas with world’s oldest democracy accounting for its illegal production. Charas smugglers use different routes to transport illegaly produced charas in the area that fetches higest price in domestic and international market. Drugs mafia people even recah Malana to purchase charas. As Kullu is also famous for production of off season vegetables and fruits, including apple, mafia people allegedly transport charas in vehicles carrying vegetables as these vehciles are seldom checked by police and other agencies.
Smack Addicts in Rehabilitation Centre
Drug addicts from across the state reach Drugs De-Adiction Centre located in Ziya near here. Its in charge Balwinder Singh told that most of the youth coming for rehabilitation are smack addicts who have spoiled their life after falling prey to drugs. We create awareness among them to stay away from drugs and have been successful in their rehabilitation, he added. Recently, many youths who were smack, heroin, ganja and other addicts have come to the rehab centre here.
* Most of the youth coming for rehabilitation are smack addicts who have spoiled their life after falling prey to drugs
-Balwinder Singh, In charge, De-Addiction Centre, Kullu
* Youths start consuming these drugs as a fashion initially and then become addicts. Parents must keep a vigil on activities of their children
-OP Sharma, Secretary, Red Cross, Dharamshala