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Unable to act against drug kingpins as they are based in HP, UP: Uttarakhand to HC

The state government told the Uttarakhand high court on Friday that it was unable to take action against kingpins of drug mafia, as they were based in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, said the counsel of an activist who filed a public interest litigation (PIL).

dehradun Updated: Jul 20, 2018 22:21 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Drug menace,Kingpins
The Uttarakhand high court asked the state government why no action was being taken against the kingpins of the drug mafia.(HT File Photo)

The state government told the Uttarakhand high court on Friday that it was unable to take action against kingpins of drug mafia, as they were based in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, said the counsel of an activist who filed a public interest litigation (PIL).

Ravi Joshi, zonal director of the narcotics control bureau, Dehradun, and senior superintendent of police (special task force), drug control, Riddhim Aggarwal apprised the court about the challenges and limitations they were facing in checking drug abuse and narcotics smuggling into the state, said the counsel, Dushyant Mainali.

Joshi and Aggarwal had been summoned by the court on July 18 to explain what steps have been taken to check drug menace and narcotics smuggling, and why no action was being taken against the kingpins of the drug mafia.

A division bench of chief justice KM Joseph and justice Sharad Kumar Sharma, which is hearing the PIL filed by Ramnagar-based social activist Shveta Mashiwal, was apprised by the senior officials about the shortcomings that hampered effective action to check drug menace.

“Zonal director, narcotics control bureau, told HC that they have five staff for the entire state. When the court asked them how they are checking drug menace in the entire state, the director said they were using satellite surveillance to check areas where people were growing drug-yielding plants,” Mainali said.

HC also directed that the Centre and SSP (STF), drug control, be made parties in the case, he said.

When HC asked SSP (STF), drug control, why no action was being taken against the kingpins of drug mafia, she said they were based in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, Mainali said.

“I apprised the court that there were provisions in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985, which empower the states to make rules for coordination with other states for checking cross-border drug smuggling. But the state has not framed any such rules,” he said.

The SSP (STF), drug control, also told the court that drug menace was rapidly increasing when the bench asked her about the trend in the state. “The SSP also told the court that there were no drug addiction rehabilitation centres set up by the government; the ones that are existing have been set up by the private sector. Also, she informed the court that they didn’t have enough narcotic labs in the state,” Mainali said.

Mashiwal, in her PIL, had alleged rampant drug smuggling and abuse in the state, especially in schools and colleges.

First Published: Jul 20, 2018 22:21 IST