Tripura’s chief minister, Manik Saha said on Monday that more than 580 people have been arrested in Tripura this year for 400 drug smuggling cases this year, till August, as part of the state government’s efforts to tackle the threat of drugs and contraband. A total of 399 cases were lodged in this regard this year, he added.
While sharing the statistics, Saha said that in 2020, the state police recorded 291 cases and arrested 557 individuals. The next year, 352 cases were registered and 690 people were arrested, he added.
“We have forwarded 19 cases related to Narcotics Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Tripura Police’s Crime Branch to investigate the link of the drug business. We have also proposed to buy a full body scanner to identify the contraband-carrying vehicles,” the chief minister said, underlining that massive anti-drug campaigns have been carried out by the Bharatiya Janata Party-Indigenous Peoples Front of the Tripura alliance government.
Over 3.76 crore ganja plants were destroyed in three years, Saha added.
State police are also conducting anti-drug campaigns, through Prayaas, targeting youth in educational institutions, and through sports activities in remote locations.
The chief minister said that the government was also campaigning in schools and colleges and encouraging parents to send addicted children to rehab centres.
“It is seen that the trend of drug smuggling is higher in the border areas. With the motive to crack this, the police, with the help of the Narcotics Control Bureau, conducted several raids successfully. Another central agency, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence is also involved in raiding against drug smuggling,” Saha said.
There are plans to procure more sniffer dogs, apart from the current six being used in anti-drug operations, and to open a branch of the Narcotics Control Bureau, he added.
Opposition Congress MLA Roy Barman called for a high-level committee led by the Chief Minister, representatives of various departments, political parties, and non-governmental organizations, and an action plan.
“There is a slogan of ‘Nashamukt Tripura’ [Drug-free Tripura]. But it is not so effective. Youngsters are attracted to drugs. One more thing, there is no conviction in drug-related cases so far,” said Roy Barman.