FROM A CORRESPONDENT
Shillong, Sept 12: Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) legislator from Nongkrem, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, today said that he was terrified at the phenomel rise of drugs users in the state.
Raising the issue of alarming rate of drugs trafficking across the state as a special motion, Basaiawmoit gave some alarming statistics.
The HSPDP legislator informed the House that Meghalaya had the highest proportion of heroin users (27.3 per cent) followed by Punjab (19.3 per cent), Jharkhand (16 per cent), Jammu and Kashmir (13.3 per cent) and Odisha (11.7 per cent).
This is as per the study titled ‘Assessment of Pattern, Profile and Correlate of Substance Use Among Children In India’, commissioned by the tiol Commission For Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and conducted in 27 states by the tiol Drugs Dependent Treatment Center of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Canbis use in Meghalaya was 50.9 per cent while the highest was found in Uttaranchal with 70 percent followed by Harya (63.3 per cent).
In Meghalaya there are 25 per cent injectable drugs users, the highest being by children from Mizoram with 88.6 per cent.
As far as inhalants are concerned, 30.9 per cent kids of Meghalaya used inhalants.
The highest percentage of tobacco use among children (96.4 per cent) was found in Meghalaya followed by galand (95.8 per cent), Sikkim (93.1 per cent) and Uttaranchal (90.0 per cent).
According to Basaiawmoit the statistics of drug addicts in Meghalaya as per the survey conducted by NEIDAC (North East India Drugs & AIDS Control) is 553 persons in 1999 and 17,833 in 2009 which shows the staggering increase by more than 30 times.
He said that if another survey is conducted from 2009 – 2016 the number of drug users may even reach more than 50000 persons.
“Imagine what will happen to the future of our children and the state as a whole if this mece is not addressed in the right earnest. When I look at the statistics I feel that it is an attack on my community and I also start thinking maybe this is a silent invasion against us,” Basaiawmoit added.
The HSPDP legislator also said that he was dismayed that the government is yet to conduct a survey to find the number of drugs users in Meghalaya and also the number of drug related crime such as robbing, killing and kidpping.
He also said that the government has not set up any rehabilitation centres to provide counseling to addicts which show that the government is yet to realize the impact of drug abuse in the state which also has a serious ramification on the society.
Meanwhile, in his reply, Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh said that the increase of drug trafficking in Meghalaya is due to its high margin of profit and according to him the trade appears “lucrative”.
Lyngdoh informed the House that one gram of heroin fetches Rs 6000 in Shillong and a number of drug traffickers even after being booked by the police continue the trade.
As per statistics available, the Home Minister informed that in the last three years the largest quantity of drugs seized is in East Khasi Hills district followed by Ri-Bhoi district.
Lyngdoh informed the House that 32 cases under the rcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985 were reported in 2013, the number came down to 27 in 2014 but in 2015 the cases went up to 31 and till the end of July this year 22 cases have been registered.
The Home Minister also informed that out of 112 cases registered by the police under rcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 25 cases were chargesheeted in 2013, 22 cases were chargesheeted in 2014 and 25 in 2015.
Lyngdoh also informed that during the investigation of cases from 2013 to July 31 this year, chargesheet have been submitted against the accused in 80 cases and in respect of 13 cases the investigation could not substantiate the charge against the accused persons.
The Home Minister also informed that from 2013 to July this year, 209 persons have been arrested and forwarded to the court in connection with cases under rcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985.
“There have been 13 cases of conviction and 19 cases are pending trial,” Lyngdoh said.