Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Drugs destroying NE youth

That the Kohima-Dimapur stretch of the NH 29 is among the major route used for trafficking drugs and other psychotropic substances from Moreh and Manipur to other parts of India is not a new discovery. Most of the drugs in northeast excluding Sikkim, come from Bangladesh and Myanmar. Drugs including opium, heroin, methamphetamine and many more are smuggled from Myanmar into the northeast. Moreh (Manipur), Champai (Mizoram), Dimapur (Nagaland), and Guwahati (Assam) have become the nucleus of drug trafficking industry in India’s northeast. Chemicals called precursors or essential chemicals are smuggled out of India from India and drugs such as heroin , amphetamine and other combinations etc.

Chemicals from India help make heroin in Myanmar, which in turn has devastated India’s northeast with the help of venal druglords, politicians, insurgent outfits and even some elements of the armed forces. Drugs produced in the notorious ‘Golden Triangle’ enter India through Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland from Bhamo, Lashio, and Mandalay in Myanmar. Also, drugs illicitly manufactured in India and used for refining heroin travel through the same route for trade. The trafficking route bifurcates; one channel moves northwards through Moreh in Manipur while other moves southwards to enter Champai in Mizoram. The other route through which illicit drugs and opiates are smuggled into India is through Mizoram originating at Champhai is very well connected to cities in Myanmar that include Tiddim and Mandalay. Almost 80 per cent of the world’s production of opiates originate from the “Golden Crescent” and the “Golden Triangle” area, now called “Golden Pentagon” with the induction of Vietnam-Cambodia and Nagaland-Manipur in Northeast India. Several countries of South Asia are strategically located on the heroin trafficking routes – India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka. Nearly seven per cent of the population in Mizoram, consume opioids, followed by Nagaland (6.5 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (5.7 per cent) and Sikkim (5.1 per cent), according to the AIIMS report. Opioids are a broad group of pain-relieving drugs supposed to be used under strict medical supervision. Unchecked use of opiods has serious health implications. Drug seizures by police at Dimapur and mostly at nearby Karbi Anglong indicate that trafficking is going on at a huge scale unimaginable till a few years back.

Most shocking is the revelation and as published in this newspaper, that teen aged school children and minors as young as 10 are using drugs. This only exposes how dangerous the situation has become. The magnitude of the quantity of drugs especially heroin, prove that the north east region is a major transit zone of trafficking of various illicit drugs and heroin. According to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) during January 2019 the total quantity of heroin seized along the Moreh, Dimapur and Khatkhati route was around 700 grams or worth around Rs.3.5 crore. During January 2022 the total quantity of heroin seized on the same route was nearly 3 kgs and worth around Rs.15 crore. The seizures in 2021 were notable as quantities were huge. From July to October 2021, a total of approximately 20 kgs of heroin was seized by police mostly in Karbi Anglong and a few from Dimapur. The drug trade in proliferating which has devastated states in the north east. The situation calls for declaration of total war on illicit drugs and psychotropic substances if the future generation is to be saved.

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