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Northern states to join hands against drug mafia

With drug cartels increasingly making links with inter-state gangs, the north Indian states will now join hands to curtail the burgeoning drug trade in the region.

punjab Updated: Sep 03, 2014 10:34 IST
Gaurav Bisht

With drug cartels increasingly making links with inter-state gangs, the north Indian states will now join hands to curtail the burgeoning drug trade in the region.

The drug trade in the region has increased manifolds in the recent years. Drug cartels, both the domestic and international ones, have carved out new links in different north Indian states, including Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Next week, the top brass from different states and agencies will go into a huddle to chalk out strategy for curbing drug trade. The state police will host the first of its kind inter-state meeting on September 12 for coordination on common crime concerns with special emphasis on trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances.

‘drug sanctuaries’

Reports suggest that the drug cartels are establishing their presence in the areas which are emerging as ‘new drug sanctuaries’ for peddling synthetic drugs, charas, cocaine, ganja and marijuana produced illegally in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.

Due to lack of coordination, various government agencies involved in curbing the trade find it difficult to combat the cartels. “I believe that it is high time that the different agencies and the states joined hands to combat drug trafficking,” director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Kumar told Hindustan Times.

The top brass and representatives of the Narcotic Control Bureau, Bureau of Police Research and Development, Seema Shastra Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), enforcement directorate, and the central intelligence agencies will gather in the state capital to find ways to improve coordination among them.

Besides, top police officials from Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttrakhand, Delhi and Chandigarh will participate in the meeting. “Crime is common concern for the entire country,” the DGP said.

The meeting will lays special emphasis on curtailing the drug trade, said inspector general of police (crime and narcotics) Satwant Atwal Diwedi.

The Himachal Pradesh Police have been battling hard to contain the drug menace, particularly caused by the synthetic drugs coming from Punjab, which grew alarmingly in the neighbouring state in the recent years.

BLAME GAME

Both Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, instead of forming a joint strategy to tackle the menace, have been resorting to a blame game, holding each other responsible for the drug spillover.

While Punjab accused the pharma firms in Himachal Pradesh for clandestinely manufacturing the intoxicant-based synthetic drugs and supplying them to Punjab, the Himachal Pradesh government blamed the drug cartels in Punjab for making inroads in the bordering areas of the state.

The ever-booming the cannabis cultivation in Kullu, Chamba, Shimla and Sirmour remains the prime concern for the police.

The conservative estimates reveal that the narcotic trade in Himachal Pradesh exceeds over `2000 crore annually.

Cannabis trade in the state is backed by the international drug cartels that began to spread their tentacles in the scenic Kullu valley in the early 80s.