New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that Narcotic smuggling is a major threat to national security. Narcotics constitute a significant source of funding for anti-national forces. The illegal global trade of narcotics, worth $400 billion, is also a daunting question before humanity. Therefore, India has adopted a Zero Tolerance policy to stop the illegal narcotics trade. No narcotics will be allowed to be smuggled into or from India. The security agencies are already on the job for this. But the entire world needs to unite against narcotics smuggling and India is willing to lead the way.’
Union Home Minister Amit Shah was speaking at the ‘Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking’ of BIMSTEC, the organisation of the countries lining the Bay of Bengal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The Indian government has arrested 231,000 drug traffickers in the last five years and have registered 181,000 offences. The Union Home Minister informed that “there are 1,500 foreign traffickers among the people arrested. In 2019, the security agencies seized 2 metric tonnes of narcotics, till September. Home Minister Shah pointed out that in 2018, this figure was 1.2 metric tonnes.
The Heroin smuggling from south-west Asia has been on the rise, in the last year. At the same time, opium smuggling from Afghanistan is not affecting only India, but also the other countries. No BIMSTEC country is not faced with terrorism. The funding for this terrorism is coming from this illegal narcotics trade. Therefore, the BIMSTEC countries should make a resolve to uproot this illicit trade of narcotics. Massive quantities of narcotics are smuggled even through the Bay of Bengal. Home Minister Shah clarified that being a big country from the region, India will not backtrack on its commitment to discharge its obligations.
The narcotics enter India through the Myanmar border, in Mizoram and Manipur and also through the coastal regions. The Indian agencies are taking all the measures to stop this smuggling.
The synthetic narcotics manufactured through chemical processes is another big problem. These narcotics are 50 times more dangerous than other drugs. Home Minister Shah expressed concerns that there are more than 900 such narcotic substances and they are not under any control. The Indian government has adopted a Zero Tolerance policy, regarding narcotics, to fulfil its dream of Drug-Free India. Other countries from BIMSTEC also should adopt a comprehensive policy against drug trafficking. Union Home Minister Amit Shah appealed that trafficking should be countered through information interchange and joint operations.