Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced the constitution of a special task force headed by Additional Director General of Police CID and officers of the Department of State Taxes and Excise to curb the drug menace in the state.
Thakur gave this information while launching an initiative ‘Nasha Nahin, Zindagi Chunne’ of the department of State Taxes and Excise and HP Nasha Niwaran Board while celebrating the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking here on Sunday.
He said the state government was committed to eradicating the drug menace from the state, for which an Integrated Drug De-addiction Policy has been adopted.
“Seventy-three posts of police personnel would be created and filled up in the Department of State Taxes and Excise for effective implementation of Excise NDPS and other regulatory legislation. This would not only safeguard government revenue but also re-assert Government’s commitment to combat drug menace in a holistic manner,” he said.
He also initiated the process of ‘Excise Police Force’ on the occasion.
“There is a need to make the campaign against drug abuse a people’s movement. Only then this demon of drug abuse can be defeated and the younger generation saved from this social vice,” he asserted.
In wake of the advancement in technology that has made curbing the menace quite challenging, he said called upon the Police Department to remain a step ahead to nab those engaged in drug peddling.
The Chief Minister said that better coordination between the police of neighbouring states was vital in order to break the chain of drug peddling.
It was on his initiative that steps were taken to chalk out a joint strategy to check the drug menace in the region, he said, adding that a meeting was held at Panchkula in Haryana in which Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and the governor of Jammu and Kashmir participated.
“All the chief ministers and representatives of other northern states agreed to share the information regarding drug trafficking, he said, adding that another meeting was hosted by Punjab in which Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Delhi also participated.
Thakur said the state government also started a special de-addiction helpline that aims at providing counselling and guidance to the patients.
“The state government has made drug peddling a non-bailable offence to check drug peddling,” he said.
He said that with a view to checking the drug menace, the state government has chalked out a comprehensive plan to make Himachal Pradesh a drug-free state.
“A major part of the anti-drug strategy of the state government focuses on certain drugs originally derived from plant sources such as cannabis and opium. The state government has taken stringent steps against cultivation and for eradication of these drug generating plants,” he said.
Property worth Rs. 20 crore was attached by the state government earned by the drug peddlers and those involved in this illegal trade, he informed.
Thakur advised the parents to keep an eye on the behavioural change in their children and also to spend quality time with their children.
He also urged the teachers of schools and other educational institutions to keep a strict vigil on the activities going on in their institutions as the drug peddlers specifically target these institutions.
Thakur stressed on the need to hold regular special drives to curb the drug menace amongst the youth near schools and colleges from time to time under the Community Policing Scheme.
The Chief Minister also administered an oath against drug abuse on the occasion.