Thiruvananthapuram: There has been a four-fold increase in drug-related cases in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed the State Assembly on Wednesday August 31.
Terming the development “extremely grave”, the chief minister said the eradication of the menace calls for strong measures.
“According to the figures, in 2020 there were 4,650 drug-related cases registered by the Excise and Police which rose to 5,334 in 2021. Till August 20, this year, the figure had already touched 16,128. While 5,674 people were arrested in 2020, a total of 6,704 arrests were made in 2021 and till August 29, already 17,834 people have been arrested.
So far, 1,340 kilograms of ganja, 6.7 kgs of MDMA and 23.4 kgs of hashish oil have been confiscated this year.
“Today, more synthetic drugs are being used, while earlier it was ganja and there have been instances of these even reaching educational institutions. The need of the hour is the combined efforts of the government and the civil society, which has already begun,” said Vijayan.
Measures will be taken to ensure that those involved in the trade are kept under preventive detention for two years.
Also on the anvil is preparation of a data bank of those engaged in this line of business.
A high-level meeting chaired by the chief minister has decided to conduct a massive state- level special drive with the help of police and ex-servicemen against this menace.
It has also been decided to keep a close watch on all incoming trains as doubts have been raised that the passage of drugs into the state is through trains.
On October 2, there will be a state-level inauguration of the campaign against this menace.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan informed the Assembly that the entire opposition will join hands with the government in all its efforts to tackle this drug menace.
“We assure you of all the support in this fight as we want our future generation to be saved from this. The need of the hour is to tweak the present set of rules which acts as a loophole for the law breakers to escape and for that we should come out with very strong rules which gives no escape. We should track down all the parties engaged in this,” said Satheesan.
ADGP of Police Vijay Sakhre said this drug menace is a very serious issue and is a threat to national security.
“If the menace has to be wiped out, the entire network of those engaged in this should be broken as it’s not just the end user or the carrier that has to be tracked, but the ones who trade in it. It’s here that the issue of national security comes in. A special drive will soon be in place,” said Sakhre.