GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 4th April. Sun Tzu’s quote “The nature of war is constant change” is particularly relevant in today’s world, which is plagued by various types of wars, including the war against drug trafficking. In recent years, drug trafficking has seen a significant rise, with the national capital becoming a major transit point. This has led to an increase in the demand for measures to curb this illegal activity.
In this regard, the IANS team interviewed Gyaneshwar Singh, the Deputy Director General of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Delhi Zone. His insights shed light on the challenges that law enforcement agencies face in tackling the menace of drug trafficking.
Drug trafficking is a complex issue, and the challenge for law enforcement agencies is to stay ahead of the ever-evolving tactics used by drug traffickers.
Singh highlights the need for constant adaptation and the use of innovative techniques to keep up with drug traffickers. He also emphasizes the importance of collaboration between various agencies and the need for intelligence-led operations to achieve success in this war.
Despite the challenges, Singh remains optimistic and is confident that the war against drug trafficking can be won. He stresses the need for a multi-pronged approach that includes not only strict law enforcement measures but also preventive measures such as awareness campaigns and rehabilitation programmes.
Excerpts from the interview:
IANS: What is the situation of Delhi-NCR on the gravity of drug abuse?
Singh: As per the survey conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and AIIMS, drug abuse in Delhi-NCR is surpassing the national average. Moreover, Delhi-NCR is a significant transit point for drugs across Northern India. Thus, the rampant consumption and trafficking of drugs in the region pose a severe challenge for us.
IANS: What factors have led to the escalation of drug trafficking and how are they being smuggled into the country?
Singh: Heroin is basically sourced from Afghanistan via the Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle. India’s geographical location, sandwiched between the two, makes it an ideal route for the transportation of heroin. It infiltrates the country through the international, land and maritime borders, with the western international border along Pakistan being a focal point. Punjab’s Attari border and Mundhra Port, in particular, witnesses a lot of heroin influx with most of the significant cases having a nexus with Delhi. Most of the influx of heroin is through sea routes.
IANS: How do smugglers operate within Delhi and are there any dark areas where such activities are more prevalent?
Singh: There are numerous channels through which drugs enter Delhi, including charas from Nepal, Himachal, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir, cocaine from Latin America smuggled via human carriers on flights, and synthetic drugs mainly transported by human carriers and couriers. A variety of drugs are available in Delhi through these transit points.
Unfortunately, as per our intel, drug abuse is prevalent in all areas of Delhi, including restaurants, bars, pubs, and among the general public. The Dwarka and Greater Noida regions have become hotspots for foreigners dealing in the consumption and supply
IANS: What measures has the NCB taken in the past year to curb drug smuggling?
Singh: The NCB is the national nodal agency responsible for tackling drug-related issues. Our strategy encompasses both supply and demand reduction. We collaborate with other agencies to raise awareness and conduct enforcement operations for supply reduction. We concentrate on high-profile cases that involve interstate or international networks. We also provide training to other enforcement agencies.
IANS: Does the NCB’s approach differ from that of the police when it comes to catching smugglers?
Singh: The NDPS Act authorizes the police, customs, DRI, CBI, NIA, and other agencies to take action against drug smuggling. The NCB is a specialized organization that is better equipped to handle interstate and international investigations, conduct financial inquiries, and coordinate efforts. Additionally, we assist in policy making, international and interstate coordination, and educating people about new drugs, new modes of operation, and amendments to the NDPS Act.
The NCB, serving as a primary agency, is actively engaged in combating this problem. Although state police forces are responsible for 97 percent of the approximately 55,000 FIRs filed annually under the NDPS Act, NCB handles the most significant cases, which result in a conviction rate of around 65-70 percent.
IANS: Is NCB planning to expand across the country?
Singh: We are a small organisation of about 1,200 people, so we are into expansion mode. The government is very serious about drugs these days and they are expanding the NCB. Earlier we had 13 zones and 30 zones will come up. Every state will have its own NCB zone.
IANS: What is your message to young people and parents regarding drug abuse?
Singh: Drug abuse is often a consequence of a lack of self-control, and susceptible individuals are more likely to indulge in drug use. It is a severe issue, and parents must prioritize their children and communicate with them about drug abuse. Young people must be mindful of the dangers of drugs and avoid them. (IANS)