‘Extradite foreigners to curb drug-peddling’
Manali is the drug abode of India. Himachal Pradesh government has admitted to the dubious fact and wants the central government to extradite all foreigners living there for years to make the famous tourist destination drug-free.delhi Updated: Mar 26, 2012 01:06 IST
Manali is the drug abode of India. Himachal Pradesh government has admitted to the dubious fact and wants the central government to extradite all foreigners living there for years to make the famous tourist destination drug-free.
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal told the planning commission on Friday that drug-peddling and usage was rampant in Manali and nearby areas, and was the main reason that attracted so many foreigners.
He was replying to a specific query by member-secretary of the planning commission Sudha Pillai that what was the state government doing to tackle the growing menace of drug-peddling and consumption in Manali. She said high consumption of drugs was having adverse impacts on the locals.
Dhumal did not shrug off the criticism and said drug-peddling was going on in the higher reaches of Manali, especially where foreigners are staying. “Many of them (foreigners) have married to local girls and have been staying there for years. They deal in drug business. But the state government does not have the powers to send them back to their countries,” he told the plan panel during a discussion on the annual plan for the state on Friday.
The chief minister has asked plan panel deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia to urge the union home ministry to start extradition proceedings against the foreigners who are believed to be running drug rackets.
Manali drugs, especially from the Malana village are popular among drug abusers. Entry of law enforcement agencies into the village has been restricted owing to the high-handedness of local drug lords. This is the apparent reason for the state government not taking any action against the drug-peddlers in Manali. As per data available with the state government, over one lakh foreign tourists visited Manali in 2010.
At the meeting, Dhumal also said the central government had laid only 45 km of railway network in Himachal Pradesh in the past 60 years. He said the Chinese railway, meanwhile, was about to reach the state’s border.