International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking was celebrated in the state police headquarters here today. Governor Bandaru Dattatraya and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur attended the function.
Speaking on the occasion, the Governor stressed the need for more vigilance and sustained efforts in the border areas to check illegal trafficking of drugs. He said drug addiction not only affect a person or family, but the entire society and there was urgent need that police administration work more vigorously to eliminate this social evil. He expressed happiness that the police administration was making all-out efforts to curb this menace and appealed the people to cooperate with the police in campaign against drug addiction.
“Himachal Pradesh is known as Dev Bhoomi and its culture, lifestyle, ideology is very rich but it is unfortunate that the problem of drug abuse has cropped up severely and if we will not check it immediately, the situation may become worse in the days to come”, said the Governor.
Shri Dattatraya appreciated the initiative of the state government for launching Drug Free Himachal App to check illegal trafficking and said that through technology we could change the society. He advised to strengthen intelligence department of police. He also advised to involve non-government organisations in anti-drug awareness campaigns.
The Governor said that International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking was a symbol of our common resolve and cooperation to free the world community from addiction. Today, we were fighting on two fronts, corona pandemic but our police force has been performing best in both the fronts. He said that Panchayati Raj Institutions, Educational Institutions, NGOs, Community Based Organizations and Individuals who contribute in raising awareness have also an important role to make society free from drugs but, our police force was working to motivate them for their participation in this direction.
He said that parents, teachers, physicians and voluntary organizations should be trained and involved in medical and rehabilitation efforts in a big way. He stressed to set up more rehabilitation centers.
He said that Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment conducted a National Survey on Excessive Use and Paradigm of Substances through National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of All India Institute of Medical Sciences which disclosed that about 14.6 per cent of the people aged between 10-75 years were current users of alcohol, i.e. around 16 crore people. About 5.2 percent i.e. more than 5.7 crore people were estimated to be affected by harmful or alcohol-dependent use which means every third wine user in India needed help with alcohol-related problems and this way we could understand how serious was the situation.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that although a large number of cases were registered against drug peddlers, but most of them were from neighbouring States of Punjab and Haryana. Therefore, the foremost priority of the State Government was to share the information about these drug peddlers amongst the neighbouring States.
Jai Ram Thakur said that on his initiative the neighbouring States of Himachal like Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan etc. agreed to frame a joint strategy to curb this social vice which was a threat to the existence of our society. He said that the first meeting was held with the Chief Ministers of the neighbouring States at Panchkula and it was decided that a joint secretariat would be established at Panchkula to jointly monitor and share information regarding drug trafficking.
He said that the drug abuse was universal problem and it should be tackled with a might to save the existence of society. He said that most stringent laws were required to nab the drug peddlers. He said that the property of those involved in drug trafficking would be confiscated. He said alarming number of youth using synthetic drugs was indeed a matter of concern. He said that special thrust must be laid on educating the younger generation regarding ill effects of drug abuse on our body, mind and society.
The Chief Minister said that in Himachal Pradesh Charas or cannabis was one of the major substances used by drug addicts, but now synthetic drugs have emerged as a major area of concern. He said that Substance addiction has a severe impact not only on the individual, but those closest to them and society as a whole. He said that drug abuse and peddling also attribute to crime, disease, accidents, domestic violence, abuse, job loss, and homelessness.
Jai Ram Thakur said that long term strategy must be chalked out to engage youth in constructive activities. He said that parents should also keep an eye on abnormal behaviour of their teenage children. He said that a campaign against the drug abuse must be made a mass movement and people’s participation was vital to make any campaign a success. He said that effective sharing mechanism should be developed to share information regarding drug peddling so that the culprits could be nabbed at the earliest. A substance addiction deteriorates an individual’s physical and mental well being, he added.
Chief Minister announced that Finger Print Bureau would be brought under the control of CID wing of Police department by taking back it from FSL Junga for effectively analyzing the crimes of finger prints. He also announced that Mess of gazetted officers would be constructed near Panthaghati in Shimla to facilitate the officers of the Police department. He said that the demand for returning back cyber crime lab to Police department would be considered sympathetically.
Jai Ram Thakur said that demand for construction of Mess for non- gazetted officers of police department at Shimla and abolition of condition of 8 years service for granting of next pay scale for police constables would be examined by the Government.
Education Minister Surest Bhardwaj said that it was on the imitative of the State Government that efforts were made for framing joint strategies by neighbouring States to tackle the problem of drug abuse. He said that the most alarming thing was the increasing number of schools students involved in drug abuse. He said that it was unfortunate that Shimla once known as education hub of country was now becoming a haven for drug peddlers and drug addicts.
He also felt the need for paying more attention by the parents on their children so as he or she could be motivated to stay away from drug abuse. He said that the students should also be motivated to participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities.
Additional Chief Secretary Social Justice and Empowerment Nisha Singh said that the endeavour of the department was to motivate the students and younger generation to stay away from drug abuse. She said at rural level Mahila Mandals and Yuvak Mandals were being motivated to ensure proper counselling of those already trapped in this social vice. She said that due to the lockdown in wake of covid-19 pandemic, several youth required proper counselling and rehabilitation.
Additional Chief Secretary, Home Manoj Kumar said that the drug abuse was a social vice which needs collective efforts to sensitize the general public. He said that the Police should act proactively to crack the supply chain of drug abuse and nab those involved in this nefarious activity. He said that special thrust must be made on spreading awareness regarding the ill effects of drug abuse on our body, mind and society in general.
Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu, while welcoming the Governor and Chief Minister, said that cases of drug abuse and drug trafficking were increasing in fast pace and it needed to be contained to save the society. He said that multi-pronged strategy was required to be implemented to effectively tackle this teething issue.
He said that the Finger Print Bureau must be brought into the fold of the State Police as this would help in fast tracking cases of investigation. He said that cyber crime lab must be also brought back into the Police Force. He also urged the Chief Minister for construction of Police Mess in Shimla and also a Mess for NGO helping the Jawans visiting the State capital on duty.