‘Gujarat is No. 1 in catching drugs, not consuming it’: state minister | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Gujarat is No. 1 in catching drugs, not consuming it’: state minister

Jun 24, 2024 09:22 PM IST

Minister of state for home Harsh Sanghavi launched Gujarat’s new anti-drugs campaign, saying the state will take the fight from cities to villages

Ahmedabad: Gujarat officials have seized seized narcotics valued at 9,600 crore and arrested 2,600 people over the last four years. State minister of state for home Harsh Sanghavi said on Monday, at the launch of a fresh campaign against drugs that will focus on villages and smaller towns as well.

Senior police officers will visit districts for a few days every month to conduct awareness programmes and review the progress (X/sanghaviharsh)
Senior police officers will visit districts for a few days every month to conduct awareness programmes and review the progress (X/sanghaviharsh)

The new initiative will see high-ranking police officials adopting different districts to implement awareness programs and review progress. “We are launching an anti-drugs campaign to take this fight from the cities to the villages,” Sanghavi said.

“Under this campaign, awareness programmes against drugs will be organised at the district level at schools, colleges, religious places etc by involving social media influencers, social, political and religious leaders. The state government has also approved a separate budget for more rehabilitation centres in coordination with the health department to give addicts timely treatment and counselling,” Sanghavi said.

“We are waging a war against this menace,” the minister said. He added that the state’s law enforcement agencies have seized more than 87,000 kilograms of narcotics. This does not include contraband seized by central agencies such as Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Narcotics Control Bureau, Customs, Coast Guard and Border Security Force.

This year alone, he said 251 drug-related cases have been registered, 410 crore worth of drugs seized, and 353 people arrested.

Sanghavi also hit back at opposition parties that criticise the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party government over the seizure of large quantities of drugs, saying some states ruled by the Opposition had “drug capitals” of the country.

“Gujarat is number one in catching drugs, not consuming it. It has now become a fashion to malign Gujarat for political mileage. We are being defamed because we catch drugs without doing politics. Instead of appreciating us, we are labelled as ‘Udta Gujarat’. Unlike Gujarat, there are states which do not take action against drug menace.”

Gujarat director general of police Vikas Sahay said 105 personnel from the force have received 16 lakh in cash rewards - an average of 1,5,000 - under the state’s narco reward policy of the state.

Sanghavi said that while the main focus in recent years was on intercepting drugs smuggled through Gujarat’s coastline - an effort he claimed has been highly successful - the authorities are now shifting their attention to apprehending drug traffickers within the state.

“These drug dealers earned crores of rupees, had built palaces, set up huge offices, and drove luxury cars from their illegal earnings,” Sanghavi said, citing recent arrests made by the state police in a joint operation with the Odisha police.

“We have sealed their properties and assets in cooperation with Odisha police. In the coming days, they will be auctioned, and the proceeds will benefit the people of the state and country.”

The minister said the authorities will focus on seizing properties and assets of those caught in drug trafficking cases.

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