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High Court serious on drug menace in Himachal

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

The High Court of Himachal Pradesh on Monday directed the Chief Secretary to file his personal affidavit regarding unauthorised construction and running of hotels/commercial establishments without statutory sanctions, more specifically at Village Kasol in Kullu.

The Court also directed the Director General of Police, Himachal to file the action taken report in the matter. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma passed these orders on a petition taken up suo moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation on affidavits filed by the Zonal Director, Narcotics Control Bureau, Chandigarh, in a separate Criminal appeal.

The Court expressed concern that today drug menace is one of the serious problem in the society and it was alarmed with the sizeable increase in the charas seizures by NCB from the state as per the figures/details furnished by the NCB. The Court observed that as per reports, there is organised cultivation of cannabis in the higher reaches in Kullu District, in the Sub Division of Kullu, Sainj Valley and there is wild growth of cannabis in Chamba, Kangra, Upper Shimla and areas adjoining to Uttrakhand, but situation in Kullu-Manali Valley is alarming and despite sanction of considerable funds for destruction of illicit cannabis, situation is very distressing.

The destruction campaigns are merely on paper and nothing has been done on ground level by the NCB or State Police for curbing drug menace in Himachal as there are such mind boggling figures with regard to seizure of contrabands by NCB. Though the Court observed that the NCB is not sufficiently equipped to handle the drug menace.

The High Court of Himachal Pradesh in its earlier order had directed the Superintendent of Police Kullu as well as Zonal Director, Narcotics Control Bureau, Chandigarh on 25.10.2017 to constitute Joint Task Force to raid all Restaurants, Hotels and Dhabas in and around Kasol and Malana to stop illegal activities related to drugs.

The Court said that though situation in entire State is quite alarming, but at present Village Malana appears to be the epicentre of drug menace. The Court wondered as to how rave parties are being allowed to be organized at Village Kasol and whether foreign nationals residing in and around Malana possess valid permission from Government of India or are illegally staying there. The Court posted the matter for 7 December, 2017.