Punjab, Haryana are heroin hubs, accounted for 60% of seizure: NCB report
The Narcotics Control Bureau’s annual report, 2016, which was released last week, shows that 999kg of the total heroin seizure of 1,675kg by all enforcement agencies and state police forces in the country was made in the two northern states. Of this, 657kg was seized in Haryana with 669 arrests in 441 cases, making it the state with the highest heroin haul in the country, it said.
The border state of Punjab, which is fighting drug menace like never before, has been placed at number two with heroin seizure of 342kg and 1,970 arrests in 1,562 cases. A sizeable quantity of recovery was made from districts along with the international border with Pakistan. Another 175kg was seized in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The region is particularly vulnerable as the southwest Asian-origin heroin (white and brownish mostly) enters the country through the Indo-Pakistan border and has a higher level of purity as compared to the locally produced variety. The purity decreases as it passes through a number of hands to the streets due to successive levels of adulteration,” said a Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) official.
While heroin seizure was made in Punjab by multiple agencies, including the state police, Border Security Force (BSF), NCB and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the NCB figures for Haryana have triggered a blame game. The Haryana police have strongly refuted the agency’s claim.
Additional director general of police (ADGP), law and order, Muhammad Akil said the heroin seizure statistics given by the NCB was totally incorrect. “No major heroin haul has been reported in the state by any enforcement agency. The recovery figure just cannot be so high under any circumstance. It is probably in grams which the central agency mistook as kilograms,” he told Hindustan Times.
The officer said Haryana Police seized 5.21kg of heroin and 21kg of smack, a low quality heroin in 2016. The NCB, the nodal agency for drug law enforcement in the country, blamed Haryana Police in turn. “The information was provided by the office of the director general of police in Panchkula in monthly master reports. The data we got from them on heroin and smack showed the seizures in Haryana to be higher than Punjab,” NCB’s deputy director general, operations, Rajender Pal Singh said.
Another NCB official said the data is gathered from different agencies on the basis of monthly reports. All agencies, including the state police, are also required to send data in a specified format (Form ‘F’) to the NCB after every recovery. “Haryana has a shoddy track record in supplying information,” he said, requesting anonymity.
In April also, the Union home ministry, in a written response to an unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha on illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, had given information showing Haryana as the state with the highest heroin seizure in 2016. The drug recovery shown was different from the statistics given in the NCB report.