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BIMSTEC conference: Need to remove narcotics from pharma industry, says Amit Shah

Indian Express 2020-02-14 04:23:26


Express News Service

| New Delhi |

Published: February 14, 2020 4:23:26 am Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (File)

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said an effort should be made to completely remove narcotic substances from the pharmaceutical industry as it was becoming the new choice among abusers and drug cartels.

“A lot of drug abuse today is in the form of pharmaceutical tablets. Phentanyl is said to be far more potent that Heroin. We should rope in scientists and doctors and do some research so that we do not need narcotics for pharmaceutical purposes in the first place,” Shah said.

Shah was delivering the inaugural address at the BIMSTEC conference on combating drug trafficking at Vigyan Bhawan. The two-day conference has been organised under the aegis of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for sharing of best practices and trafficking trends in the world.

Addressing the gathering, which had attendees from various countries and top police officers from all states, Shah called illicit drug trade a global menace and said it is a burning issue that plagues every nation, especially those in the Bay of Bengal littoral area. “It is thus very important for all countries to engage with each other to exchange ideas, policies and best practices in order to combat this menace,” he said.

The Home Minister assured the delegates that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a drug-free India, the government has devised a well laid-out strategy to ensure inter-agency coordination and revamp prosecution mechanism. He stated that India would not allow illicit narcotics and psychotropic substances trade to happen within its boundaries. “We will not allow drugs from any country of the world to enter into our country nor will allow it to go out of the country,” he added.

The Home Minister expressed concern that the rate of addiction is showing a fast increase — a 30 per cent rise in the last 10 years. He termed drug addiction as a curse for mankind as it not only kills the addict but also destroys families as well as the society, besides fuelling global terrorism and transnational crimes.

In the last 5 years, over 1.89 lakh narcotics cases have been registered in India and of them over 2.31 lakh drug smugglers have been arrested by the agencies, he said.

Shah also informed that the Home Ministry is about to establish a training centre for NCB officials at Bhopal.

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