It was only last week when a drug peddler with ‘heroin’ worth over a crore of rupees was nabbed with the contraband at Patna Railway Station. The man had come from Malda district of West Bengal. The smuggler got the drug from Bangladesh and from there to West Bengal. From Malda, the peddler used to sell the drug in Bihar and also supply the material in other parts of the country including Amritsar in Punjab.
West Bengal Should Answer
Now our straight and penetrating question is to the state government of West Bengal and the Border Security Force. How and why the state government and the BSF are unable to check smuggling of narcotics from across Bangladesh? Where are the departments and officers who are to keep a strong vigil on smuggling of narcotics? Have they taken shelter elsewhere wearing bangle.
Malda district in West Bengal is near the Bangladesh border. It is generally considered to be the nerve centre of drug smugglers. In rural Malda, you can see vast stretches of land cultivating opium, marijuana and cannabis. These psychotropic plants are sown in September-October of the year and the harvest is taken in February-March. The fields are constantly guarded by gunmen. Nobody can dare enter the field or question about the crop. It seems there is nothing in the name of government and administration in this area. The cultivation of opium is being done even by general public so that they can make quick money.
When will BSF Act?
There are reports that assault rifles and other weapons are bought by terrorists from the money generated by the smuggling of drugs from Bangladesh. It is easy to smuggle contrabands since our border is porous with Bangladesh. It is easy entry for illegal migrants to India and easier to smuggle goods. The officer and jawans of the BSF are caught taking bribe for allowing unhindered passage of people and goods from Bangladesh.
After the crackdown on BSF, the vigil is kept and the border for some time becomes quiet. But after some time again the business is as usual. In Malda, the slush money is used to run many illegal and antinational activities. Madarasas are run where anti Indian teachings are imparted to students encouraging terrorism.
Approximately, 52 per cent of population in Malda is Muslim. At one stage few years back, the Director General of Police (Intelligence), West Bengal, Raj Kannuajia had admitted that there are illegal activities in Malda and drug peddling is common. The district is notorious for running fake currency racket. The question is why the government agencies, the BSF and the Police have failed to crackdown on these smugglers and racketeers in Malda. In Malda, men, boys and children are engaged in drug peddling. It is known to all.
The heroine is smuggled into Bihar on a regular basis. An official of the Narcotics Board of India said that one kilogram of heroine is worth Rs 6 lakhs. The price goes up when supply shrinks.
Any action by the authorities in Malda invites violent protests from the locals who indulge in arson and set on fire vehicles and police stations.
Addiction of Drugs
It appears that a conspiracy is being hatched to make the young generation of India drug addicts. At one point of time, Dhuri district of Punjab was famous for rice mills. The mill owners were making good profit and the employees of the mills were well paid, they were happy lot. But the situation has changed now. Dhuri has become a hub of drug addicts. At one time Dhuri was famous also for fighting gallantly with the enemy forces. Swami Vivekananda also had praised the people of Dhuri when he had visited that place for their bravery.
India is aiming to emerge as world economic power on the strength of its youth power. But a large number of youths are taking to drugs. One fails to understand how a spiritual nation like India has its youth living with drugs. Can’t they live their life without drugs?
In Delhi’s Connaught Place, it is a common site to see young men and women taking drug in small groups on road or in underpass passage. The Police hardly act.
From where Narcotis come to India
The narcotics are smuggled into India mainly from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Nepal. It is common to read news of Nigerians being apprehended by the Police in Delhi possessing drugs. These Nigerians come to India to peddle drugs. One wonders how they operate so freely while our Police fail to act.
In the North Easters region, the drug consignment comes mostly from Myanmar. According to an official of Narcotics Department, the smuggled drugs from Myanmar are taken to a small place called More. From More the drugs are smuggled to Dimapur via Imphal and Kohima.
There is urgent need to make the law against drug consumption, possession and trade more stringent. The Narcotics Board of India has a big say in making anti-drug laws more stringent. But making law stringent is not the only way to tackle the menace. The people, the society and the government have to come out and make an all- out attack on drug peddlers and drug addicts.
R K Sinha
(The Writer is a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha)