The American troop’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has resurrected the menace of institutionalised inflow of illicit drugs into India. Earlier, the problem that was lurking only on the outskirts of border states like Punjab is fast entering the metropolitan cities and ruining the careers of Indian youth. Along with destroying the youth of India, it is also funding narco-terrorism which inflicts severe harm to India and causes the loss of innocent lives. The recent seizures and reports on drug abuse highlight the growing menace deep inside the Indian states.
Delhi Police Seizure
In a major drug bust, the Special Cell of Delhi Police has made one of the biggest seizures of heroin. The contraband was confiscated from the financial capital Mumbai. As per security officials, the total quantity of heroin coated in Liquorice is approximately 345 kg. The worth of the contraband drugs is said to be the tune of Rs 1,725 crore in the international market.
The Special CP, HGS Dhaliwal said, “The value of heroin seized was approximately Rs 1,725 crores. The container was transported to Delhi. This seizure indicates how narco terror is impacting our country and international players are using different methodologies to push drugs into our country.”
The senior official said, “A container having more than 22 tonnes of Licorice coated with Heroin has been seized from Nhava Sheva Port, Mumbai.”
Drugs causing alarming situation in Bengaluru
A survey conducted a decade back revealed that around 25 per cent of students in schools and colleges in Bangalore were consuming some form of drugs. Scaringly, this number is only on the rise.
As per National Mental Health Survey 2015-16, 22.25 per cent of youth aged 18 years and above used some form of alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs. Notably, the numbers are on a conservative estimate as the survey focused only on youth who were severely impacted by drugs.
Cut-throat competition, solitude, misinterpreted meaning of ‘FREEDOM’, and consumption driven culture of cosmopolitan cities often drive teenagers and youth towards drug and alcohol abuse. In peer pressure, these young brains are lured towards drug culture in the garb of trying something new and taking a “chill pill”.
According to the Police, cocaine use has more than doubled in the last five years in Karnataka. The famed Silicon City of India, Bengaluru is fast becoming a “new hub for drugs”. The drug seizures have quadrupled within a short-span of 6 years. Reportedly, the Police seized 500 kg of drugs in 2015-16. This included chemical high end illicit drugs like heroin, opium, ganja, hashish, morphine and ephedrine. The security agencies have confiscated more than 2000 kgs of drugs this year alone.
In Bengaluru alone, the police registered cases against 8,505 people for the use or sale of drugs in 2021 and made more than five thousand arrests. Furthermore, the Corona pandemic has aggravated this problem.
Dr Ruksana, expert on Drug abuse, explained that the situation is fast becoming alarming in the state. She highlighted that most of the time, the first use is very cheap.
She said, “There are many medicines available in the market which do not come under the purview of narcotics control. There is a pharma drug, a herb drug, a plantation drug, a normal drug, inhalant and sniffing drug. All these are easily available. The first, second dose is available free, when the person gets addicted, the drug addict manages the money themselves. If one of the parents is already accustomed to it, then the child also follows the same path.”
Major drug bust
Earlier, in September, 2021, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) made the largest contraband seizure in the history of the country. It confiscated a drug consignment weighing 3,000 kg from the Mundra port in Gujarat. The worth of the illicit drugs was pegged around Rs 21,000 crore. The heroin was concealed in a consignment of semi-processed talc stone. The DRI made these seizures between 17-19 of September, last year.
Since the advent of Taliban, it has lost nearly 40% share of its Gross Domestic Product, which were accounted to US and western donations. The illicit opium trade was one of the main instruments for Afghanistan to mint money. However, the US withdrawal has removed all the barriers which forced the nation to run it covertly. Now, with a terror outfit ruling Afghanistan, it has no shame in putting its all might to institutionalise drug trade to other nation.
The inimical neighbour Pakistan helps further this interest of Afghanistan. It relentlessly pumped illicit drugs and weapons in Punjab through porous borders and has increased it with the use of technology like drones.
Off late, it has been noted that International waters are being used to illegally pump narcotic drugs inside India. The concealed drugs in the garb of talc powder or in Licorice are dumped on maritime ports which are then smuggled into major cities like Delhi and Bengaluru. The Black Finance of this is run through hawala or money laundering and finally utilised against India in the form of narco-terrorism.
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