Agartala: In what appears to be a major milestone for the northeastern region, Tripura, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh are all set to obtain Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal units to strengthen the war on drugs in the states having porous international borders with countries like Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The official declaration of these zones was made on Saturday during Union Minister Amit Shah’s meeting with North East Chief Ministers and DGPs in Guwahati, according to a Tripura Police Department official.
The announcement was made In accordance with the central government’s policy of zero tolerance for illicit drug trafficking in north-eastern India.
“A lot of issues related to the illicit drug trafficking and cultivation of illegal crops like opium and ganja were discussed during the meeting. The Union Home Minister informed the Chief Ministers and top cops of all the northeastern states to constitute NCB zones in three states in the first phase where narcotics cases are higher. The Guwahati NCB unit will be turned into regional headquarters,” the official added.
Tripura Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha stated earlier in the state parliament that the state is in discussions with the Centre to form an NCB unit, Considering the increase in the number of cases associated with drug trafficking and abuse among youth and adolescents.
The official said, “Apart from the operation side, measures will also be undertaken to bring people out of the clutches of the drug mafia. A lot of farmers are growing banned crops like ganja and opium for the extraction of narcotics. The Union Home Minister said that an inter-ministerial committee will be formed to study the pattern of cultivation and make recommendations for alternative crops that can replace ganja and opium. This will be highly beneficial for Tripura as people tend to grow ganja due to hefty labour wage and huge profit that comes in return after harvest.”
The official further added that the Home Minister had expressed grave concerns over the reports of rising cases of drug abuse in Tripura. ” The Union Minister has assured that all sorts of efforts will be undertaken to ensure that the drug malice could be uprooted from the northeastern region. Special emphasis has also been given to upgrade present forensic science laboratories with the best possible equipment to make it suitable to deal with drug-related forensic investigations,” the official added.