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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Udta Haryana: Centre’s heroin seizure figures baffle police, other agencies

That Punjab is in the grip of a drug epidemic is known, with Bollywood even producing a film, Udta Punjab, last year to capture the ugly reality.

india Updated: Apr 22, 2017 22:40 IST
Navneet Sharma
Navneet Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
(HT Representative Image)

That Punjab is in the grip of a drug epidemic is known, with Bollywood even producing a film, Udta Punjab, last year to capture the ugly reality.

But the Union home ministry has shown neighbouring Haryana as the state with the highest heroin haul in the country in 2016.

The data, shared by the ministry in a written response to an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha on illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs on April 5, put the heroin seizure in the country at 1,600 kg last year.

Haryana alone accounted for 651 kg – approximately 40% of heroin confiscated in the country – as per the reply.

In comparison, heroin haul in Punjab, a state trying to battle drug menace like never before, was 315 kg. The drug seizure figure in Haryana has stumped officials of the Haryana police and Narcotics Control Bureau.

When contacted, additional director general of police (ADGP crime) PK Agrawal said he did not have any information on drug seizure in such a huge quantity in the state.

“I am not aware of such massive recoveries. There is probably some inadvertent error at some level. The state police confiscated about four kg of heroin in 2016,” he told HT.

Read more | Heroin use in Punjab becomes social crisis: The story of ‘emptiness’

Read more | In three weeks, five women held for carrying drugs in Mohali

As per the two figures, the Haryana Police seizures accounted for less than 1% of total heroin haul data of the Union home ministry in the state.

In 2015, 80% of heroin seizures in the country were carried out by the state police forces, with NCB and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence making the remaining recoveries, according to NCB annual report-2015. NCB is the nodal agency for drug law enforcement.

An NCB official said he has been getting reports regarding increase in drug abuse in several districts of Haryana, which shares its border with Punjab, in the past few years, but nothing on confiscation of heroin in such large quantities.

“There could be some mix-up somewhere, as various agencies classify drugs differently.

Also, there has been problem with the drug seizure figures received from Haryana. All agencies, including the state police, are required to send data in form ‘F’ to NCB after every recovery, but they do not,” he said.

The heroin confiscation data compiled by NCB on the basis of monthly reports received from the state police came to 206 kg last year.

However, the state police later informed that its heroin recovery was 4 kg in 2016. The state police had seized about 1 kg and 5 kg heroin in the previous two years.

First Published: Apr 22, 2017 08:58 IST

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