The Northeast is a beautiful region. It is almost heavenly. The scenic beauty of this part of India draws travellers from across the world. There is one thorn to the eyes, though. The region is facing a major drug problem. The consumption of drugs is not the only issue faced by this region. Sure, the consumption of narcotic substances is rampant and worries every community here, but what is even scarier is how the region has historically served as a land bridge for drugs and contraband from Myanmar into mainland India.
The Kinetic War against Drugs
The Bharatiya Janata Party now dominates this region. The saffron party, along with its allies in various states, is making sure that the drug problem of Northeast India is eradicated at the earliest. On Friday, in a major crackdown, security forces confiscated a large stockpile of contraband substances worth Rs 49.44 lakhs from Manipur. The BJP government of the state has promised to significantly reduce the drug menace from Manipur in its first 100 days in office.
The government of Manipur has decided to get an IGP rank police officer to lead the anti-Narcotics Task Force. This anti-Narcotics Division will be strengthened by posting manpower of integrity to work for it. Furthermore, the BJP government has said that poppy plantation areas will be identified through satellite mapping and drone surveys.
A Coordinated Fight
The various state governments are working closely together to dismantle the drugs network prevalent in the Northeast. Assam Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said the states in the Northeast are coordinating with one another as they fight the drug menace.
While talking to reporters on the sidelines of a passing out parade at the North East Police Academy, Sarma said, “We are under the umbrella of national drugs control and there is already a coordinated effort among all police forces in the northeastern region…The war against drugs is a coordinated effort and not an isolated one.”
He also informed the media that there have been incidents when inputs shared by the state led to the seizure of drugs and arrest of peddlers in another state of the region. This shows how the BJP’s leadership is making states in the Northeast come together to battle the pervasive problem of drugs.
In the past one year, an unprecedented crackdown on drugs has resulted in security forces ceasing large amounts of drugs and contraband throughout the Northeast. According to the New Indian Express, the Assam Rifles itself confiscated in 2021 drugs and contraband having much more value than what it confiscated in 2020.
According to the Assam Rifles, which is a paramilitary force under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and is involved in counter-insurgency operations in the region, the value of confiscated contraband in 2021 was Rs 61 crore, while that of narcotics was Rs 82 crore.
By contrast, in 2020, the value of contraband confiscated stood at Rs 32 crore while the value of seized narcotics was Rs 48 crore.
In the four months of 2022, the Assam Rifles has alone confiscated narcotics and contraband amounting to around Rs 16 crore already.
It is the Modi government’s non-nonsense approach toward drugs that has led to massive seizures of contraband substances all over Northeast India. The BJP is ensuring that drug supply is nipped in the bud and is not even allowed to cross the ‘Chicken Neck’ into mainland India.