Assam Police Step Up War On Drugs, Over 1,000 Peddlers Arrested In May

Last month Assam Police seized 2,439 grams of heroin, 91 kg of ganja, 17,551 bottles of cough syrup, around 1.57 lakh methamphetamine tablets, 14.16 grams of morphine and Rs 10.5 lakh in cash

Assam Police Step Up War On Drugs, Over 1,000 Peddlers Arrested In May

Assam Police say there are links between insurgents and the drug trade (File)

Guwahati:

As part of new Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's war on drugs, police have arrested several dealers and seized large quantities of illegal substances over the past week.

The Assam DGP (Director-General of Police) said 35 arrests were made and 20 cases registered on Sunday alone. DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta told reporters in Guwahati that the seizure list from that day consisted of 469.7 grams of heroin, 574.31 kg ganja, 1499 tablets and Rs 20,700 in cash.

Mr Sarma tweeted his congratulations: "Good work by Assam Police to address menace of narcotics."

Last month, 2,439 grams of heroin, 91 kg of ganja, 17,551 bottles of cough syrup, around 1.57 lakh methamphetamine tablets, 14.16 grams of morphine and Rs 10.5 lakh in cash were seized.

Overall, the DGP said, 1,008 people have been arrested and 618 cases registered since the crackdown on drugs began in January.

"We have launched a massive operation against the drug trade in Assam. Our focus is on drug peddlers because we need to break the supply chain and they are at the lower levels... transporting drugs to the customers. Our fight will be long but we will continue," he said.

"If we want to hit supply we have to go from the lower level. We have changed our strategy and are focusing on peddlers not big smugglers. Insurgents groups in the northeast are also involved," the DGP explained, indicating that insurgents often provide security for the drug smugglers.

"I appeal to the society to not treat addicts as criminals... rather as patients and help them in rehabilitation. Many are trying to change. We have talked to many former addicts and are trying to understand them. Society has a big role to play in supporting them to go to rehabilitation centres for treatment," he added.

The DGP also referred to poppy farms that are the main source of drug production.

"We have also launched a crackdown against this illegal cultivation. Recently we freed 15 bighas (approximately 0.7 acres) of land from this illegal cultivation," he said.

The top cop also said: "Poppy plants were smuggled to Myanmar from the northeast (and) made in to different drugs that are mostly consumed by youths. Drugs are destroying the society... so people should stand against this menace."