By Sujit Chakraborty
Guwahati/Aizawl, Aug 30 | Assam Police have seized drugs valued at around Rs 215 crore in separate incidents in the past 110 days and arrested about 1,980 peddlers, officials said on Monday.
The security forces of other northeastern states, including the Assam Rifles, have also seized huge quantities of drugs in Manipur and Mizoram bordering Myanmar.
A senior Assam Police official said that since May 10, the police have seized huge quantities of drugs including heroin, morphine, cocaine, marijuana, opium, poppy straw, cough syrup and tablets of the very addictive stimulant drug methamphetamine.
“Our police personnel during the separate raids in different districts have seized drugs worth around Rs 215 crore and arrested about 1,980 drug peddlers and smugglers,” the official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
Assam Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta in a tweet said that almost around Rs 2 crore of various narcotics are being seized a day.
“But this is far from over, this is just the beginning. And rest we will not, till we cleanse our state of this menace,”he added.
Another senior official said that over 1.8 kg of heroin worth Rs 14 crore in the international market were seized from two different places by the police in Guwahati led by Joint Commissioner Partha Sarathi Mahanta on August 28 and at least eight young drug peddlers have been arrested.
The Assam government, which launched a resolute crusade against narcotics to make the state drugs-free, is also keen to wipe out the supply of drugs to other parts of India through the northeastern region.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the drugs smuggled into India originated from Pakistan and from across the frontiers along the northeastern states specially from Myanmar.
To make the people aware against the drug menace, the seized drugs worth Rs 170 crore were burnt in public ceremonies in Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Hojai and Nagaon districts last month.
The Mizoram Police and Assam Rifles in just two separate incidents have also seized drugs worth Rs 32 crore and arrested five people in Aizawl and Champhai district during this month.
The seized narcotics include methamphetamine tablets and foreign origin cigarettes.
The methamphetamine tablets, also commonly known as ‘Yaba’ or ‘Party tablets’ or ‘WY’ (World is Yours), is a synthetic drug, and is misused as a high-dosage drug among the people specially the youth in Bangladesh and neighbouring countries, besides India.
Assam Rifles Director General Lt Gen Pradeep Chandran Nair said last week that his para-military force has seized goods worth Rs 1,603 that were smuggled in from Myanmar through Mizoram and Manipur.
“The Assam Rifles troopers alone had seized smuggled goods valued at Rs 857 crore last year, while contraband worth Rs 746 crore has been seized so far this year,” Lt Gen Nair said.
Officials said that the drugs specially the highly addictive methamphetamine contain a mix of methamphetamine and caffeine and various other contraband and arms and ammunition were often smuggled from Myanmar which shares 1,643 km of unfenced border with four northeastern states — Mizoram (510 km), Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Manipur (398 km) and Nagaland (215 km).
While Assam Rifles guard the India-Myanmar border, the Border Security Force (BSF) has been guarding the 1,880-km India-Bangladesh borders with four northeastern states of Tripura (856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km) besides West Bengal (2216 km).