Drug Menace, Illicit Drugs Businesses in Assam
GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that the state was moving towards becoming 'Udta Assam' just like drug-burdened Punjab in the story of the Bollywood movie Udta Punjab.
"We were slowly moving towards 'Udta Assam' just like Punjab in the movie Udta Punjab. Our whole society was unknowingly moving towards destruction. On one side, we are talking about work culture and on the other hand, there are people who are using drugs to destroy our whole society," said the chief minister.
Addressing the Assam Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, Dr. Sarma made a number of points on how the Assam government is trying its best to stop any sort of illicit drugs business or substance abuse in the state.
Speaking on the encounters against criminals, Himata Biswa Sarma said that police can take extreme steps against criminals abiding by the law.
Replying to a question asked by Congress MLA Sherman Ali in the ongoing Assam assembly session, the Chief Minister insisted that police must take action against the criminals who attack them. Recently, several police encounters happened across the state.
Police claimed that they shot the accused when they tried to flee or attack security personnel. Of late. the Chief Minister Sarma in a meeting with all the Officer-in-Charges(OC)s of the Assam Police asked the police officers to shoot in the knees of the criminals who try to flee.
The police encounter incidents have been drawing mixed responses. On Wednesday, Congress MLA Sherman Ali alleged in the assembly floor that the Assam police have been firing indiscriminately.
Replying to him, the Chief Minister said, "This government is adopting a zero-tolerance policy. Criminals will get a reply if they shoot the police. I will not tolerate attacks on police till I remain in this chair. Police cannot be spectators when criminals try to attack them. I cannot make my department weak," Chief Minister Sarma is also holding the state Home Department.
Another Congress MLA RockeyBool Hussain supporting his party colleague Ali quipped that the ongoing war against illicit drug trafficking will not end halfway.
"We hope that the ongoing war on drugs does not end halfway. The number of encounters has risen. Is it a self-defense or publicity gimmick?, he said".
Reacting to the Opposition's allegations, the Chief Minister clarified that no criticism could compel his government to alter its stand on the police encounters.
He claimed that the Assam police continue a war against an illicit drug cartel that runs an illegal business of around Rs. 500 crore. He also said that some extremist organizations in the northeast except the ULFA(I) are also involved with illegal drug trafficking.