The battle of the Northeast against drugs dates back to a long time. Northeast is sandwiched between the chemical supplying country and the drug-producing Golden Triangle, making it as the hub, for all the drugs are pushed into the Northeast region before it travels to any other state. As a part of new Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma’s war on drugs, the Assam police, in the past couple of weeks, has aggressively started its campaign to free the state from this peril. They have arrested several drug dealers and seized huge quantities of illegal products over the past several weeks.
The story of narcotics in Northeast India started around the 1980s when heroin, a deadly derivative of morphine, started making an entry into our society. Within a span of two decades, the Northeast states recorded over 1, 00,000 drug addicts and over 6500 HIV positive cases, which devastated various families for a very long time. Assam being the gateway for the rest of the country, the illicit drugs have to pass the state to reach various corners of the country. Being closest to the states which are sharing the boundaries with the “Golden triangle” or now called “Golden Pentagon”, the state has been dealing with these massive drug disputes for a long time.
In the last month, Assam Police seized 2,439 grams of heroin, 91 kg of ganja, 17,551 bottles of cough syrup, around 1.57 lakh methamphetamine tablets, 14.16 grams of morphine and ₹ 10.5 lakh in cash. Over 1000 peddlers were arrested in the month of May and large quantities of illegal substances were seized. Many of these arrested dealers have a history of selling drugs and were even arrested before. They have been doing this as they themselves are addicts and contribute to this supply chain. The measures are also being ramped up in Guwahati where various drug rackets at some of the prime locations of the city were busted. The Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta has launched a massive operation with the anti-narcotics team to confiscate this drug war.
Drug addiction in our state has increased a lot over a couple of years. It is being sold in Assam by a huge number of traffickers. To break this supply chain of the smuggled products the police believes in attacking at the lower levels by focusing more on the peddlers and not on the big smugglers.
Diganta pegu who was a drug peddler and was apprehended by police in Lakhimpur with 34.18 gms of suspected heroin. ‘Crystal ice’ worth Rs 12 crore was seized at a check gate under Dillai police station in East Karbi Anglong district. The crystal ice aka Methamphetamine which was seized in Karbi Anglong was possible because of the brave home guard Borsing Bey who refused to take bribe from the smugglers. A massive quantity of contraband drugs worth Rs 45 lakh was seized at Fauzadary Patty, Nagaon which was led by ASP Dhrubajyoti Bora.
The Assam DGP has launched teams to crackdown the poppy cultivation which was illegally bought from Myanmar and planted. Various operations are launched to decrease this menace faced by the state. The problem needs to be dealt with on a two-way scheme, along with the efforts of the police there should be a reduction in the demand as well, which can be done by various professionals who can bring down the number of users.
Various other states of the country are also fighting against these drug cartels. Punjab has previously taken action against the drug mafias who smuggled the drugs not only through the borders of Pakistan but also through sea, road and air route. In the past few months of 2021 alone Mizoram has recovered drugs worth over Rs.20 crores. The anti-drug task force of Uttarakhand has recently seized heroin worth over 20 lakhs. The hills of Himachal Pradesh (HP) are already the haven for rave parties, criminal syndicates, and an unlimited supply of narcotic pleasures. Already infamous for producing world-class marijuana, Himachal is now grappling with the problem of an increased influx of synthetic drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
This war on drugs is very gruesome and the operations have to continue for a long run. The state police are firm that they will get rid of this menace in the near future. Drugs are destroying society so people should stand against them.
Visuals by: Rahul Haloi
Article by Mayurankhi Handique, The North-Eastern Chronicle