Published On: Mon, Jul 17th, 2023

Amit Shah calls for harsher punishment for drug dealers

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday pitched for harsher punishments such as confiscation of assets of those involved in drug trade and their public shaming, saying such action will act as strong deterrence.

he fight against drugs is to ensure that no youth is under the influence of narcotics

Shah addressed a conference on “Drugs Smuggling and National Security” during which he also watched through video conferencing destruction of more than 1.40 lakh kg drugs worth Rs 2,378 crore in various parts of the country.

He said it is the aim of the Modi government to create such an India where not even a single youth is addicted to drugs and to achieve this it is necessary for both the states and the Centre work together.

Harsher punishment will act as a stronger deterrent as it will send a stronger message, he said, adding confiscation of assets of those involved in the illicit drug trade should be increased.

He emphasised that public shaming or boycott of such individuals will discourage others from joining the drug trade. “We need to move ruthlessly towards the confiscation of assets.”

The home minister said states should collaborate with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on financial investigations and refer the cases to the ED.

“Until we conduct financial investigations of drug traffickers and break their interest chain, our campaign will not be successful. Our approach should be such that those who consume drugs should be considered as victims, while those who engage in the trade should be marked as culprits,” he said.

Shah said those who use drugs are victims and everyone should make efforts to bring them back to the right path rather than leaving them to become addicts permanently.

“The fight against drugs is to ensure that no youth is under the influence of narcotics and the country is safe and free from illegal substances. Our aim is to make the country drugs free and secure. I appeal to all chief ministers and LGs (lieutenant governors) to extend all possible cooperation for it,” he said.

The home minister said that in the last one year 10 lakh kg drugs worth Rs 12,000 crore were destroyed and it is a very significant achievement. He said when the state and central governments along with all the agencies come together on a single platform then only “we will be able to make the country free from drugs”.

“We will be able to succeed in this campaign against drugs by following ‘whole of government approach’ with cooperation, coordination, collaboration,” he said.

He said that earlier the main area of drug smuggling was called ‘Golden Triangle’ and ‘Golden Crescent’ but the government of India has proposed internationally that it should be named as ‘Death Triangle’ and ‘Death Crescent’. “This approach shows the direction and intensity of our fight against drugs,” he said.

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