Assets Of Those Involved In Drug Trade Should Be Confiscated: Amit Shah

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday pitched for harsher punishments such as confiscation of assets of those involved in the drug trade and their public shaming, saying such action will act as strong deterrence.

Mr Shah addressed a conference on “Drugs Smuggling and National Security” during which he also watched through video conferencing the destruction of more than 1.40 lakh kg of drugs worth Rs 2,378 crore in various parts of the country.

He said it is the aim of the Modi government to create such an India where not even a single youth is addicted to drugs and to achieve this it is necessary for both the states and the Centre to work together.

Harsher punishment will act as a stronger deterrent as it will send a stronger message, he said, adding confiscation of assets of those involved in the illicit drug trade should be increased.

He emphasised that public shaming or boycotting of such individuals will discourage others from joining the drug trade. “We need to move ruthlessly towards the confiscation of assets.” 

The home minister said states should collaborate with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on financial investigations and refer the cases to the ED.

“Until we conduct financial investigations of drug traffickers and break their interest chain, our campaign will not be successful. Our approach should be such that those who consume drugs should be considered as victims, while those who engage in the trade should be marked as culprits,” he said.

Mr Shah said those who use drugs are victims and everyone should make efforts to bring them back to the right path rather than leaving them to become addicts permanently.

“The fight against drugs is to ensure that no youth is under the influence of narcotics and the country is safe and free from illegal substances. Our aim is to make the country’s drugs free and secure. I appeal to all chief ministers and LGs (lieutenant governors) to extend all possible cooperation for it,” he said.

The home minister said that in the last one year, 10 lakh kg of drugs worth Rs 12,000 crore were destroyed and it is a very significant achievement.

He said when the state and central governments along with all the agencies come together on a single platform then only “we will be able to make the country free from drugs”.

“We will be able to succeed in this campaign against drugs by following ‘whole of government approach’ with cooperation, coordination, collaboration,” he said.

He said that earlier the main area of drug smuggling was called ‘Golden Triangle’ and ‘Golden Crescent’ but the government of India has proposed internationally that it should be named as ‘Death Triangle’ and ‘Death Crescent’. 

“This approach shows the direction and intensity of our fight against drugs,” he said.

The destruction of the narcotics, the bulk of it from Madhya Pradesh, was carried out in different cities as Mr Shah watched through video conferencing from New Delhi.

The drugs destroyed include 6,590 kg seized by the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) Hyderabad unit, 822 kg seized by the Indore unit and 356 kg by the Jammu unit, officials said.

Besides, various law enforcement agencies from different states also destroyed drugs — 1,03,884 (1.03 lakh) kg in Madhya Pradesh, 1,486 kg in Assam, 229 kg in Chandigarh, 25 kg in Goa, 4,277 kg in Gujarat, 2,458 kg in Haryana, 4,069 kg in Jammu and Kashmir, 159 kg in Maharashtra, 1,803 kg in Tripura and 4,049 kg in Uttar Pradesh.

With the destruction of drugs on Monday, the total quantity of drugs destroyed in just one year has reached around 10 lakh kilograms with a value of Rs 12,000 crore.  

From June 1, 2022, to July 15, 2023, regional units of the NCB and anti-narcotics task forces of the states collectively destroyed around 8,76,554 (8.76 lakh) kg seized drugs worth around Rs 9,580 crore which is more than 11 times the target.

Mr Shah said a total of 1,250 cases were registered between 2006 and 2013, while 3,700 cases have been registered in the nine years from 2014 to 2023, which shows an increase of 200 per cent.

A total of 1,360 arrests were made in the earlier period, which has now gone up to 5,650, which shows an increase of 300 per cent.

The quantity of drug seized was earlier 1.52 lakh kg, which has now increased by 160 per cent to 3.94 lakh kg.

He said drugs worth Rs 5,900 crore were destroyed between 2006 and 2013, while drugs worth Rs 18,100 crore have been seized and destroyed between 2014 and 2023 and this shows the success of the campaign.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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