Drugs worth over Rs 18 crore have been seized and 134 traffickers arrested in the last four months in Meghalaya, Director General of Police L R Bishnoi has said. The seized drugs include 3.62 kg heroin, 4,500 kg ganja, 150 gm opium, 145 bottles of cough syrup and 11,902 amphetamines tablets. Thirty one vehicles, 90 mobile phones and cash Rs 24.22 lakh was also seized during the period, the DGP said.
“We have waged a war against drugs throughout the length and breadth of Meghalaya. During the last four months (from June to September), we have seized drugs worth Rs 18.33 crore. This is a huge recovery and credit goes to the state police, anti-narcotic task force as well as the special branch for timely collection and dissemination of intelligence,” Bishnoi told reporters here on Friday. A total of 134 drug traffickers have been arrested in 48 cases registered so far.
Of the 134 drug traffickers, 123 are from Meghalaya and 11 from other states like Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, he said. The DGP, however, informed that charge-sheet has not been filed in a single case due to delay in completing the investigation.
“To overcome this problem we have been calling the IOs with their case dairies and senior officers are supervising their case dairies so that procedural lapse should not be there,” the DGP said, adding that due to procedural lapses and non compliance of the laid down procedure under NDPS Act by the investigating officers, the accused gets bail.
“In order to overcome this problem, we are training the IOs and senior officers and we are concentrating on capacity building so that they understand the procedure in detail and a watertight charge sheet can be filed,” the DGP said.
The Meghalaya Police chief said that most of the drug trafficking is taking place in eight out of the twelve districts of the state. The districts where drug trafficking is taking place are East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills, East Jaintia, West Jaintia Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills.
“Of the 48 cases registered, 50 per cent are registered in the East Khasi Hills district and the next highest registration is in the West Garo Hill followed by Khliehriat in East Jaintia Hills, Ri Bhoi and West Jaintia Hills, he said.
The four districts which have not registered a single case under NDPS are Eastern West Khasi Hills, East Garo Hills, North Garo Hills and South West Garo Hills. “Eighteen police stations have shown registration of NDPS Act cases. Therefore, we will concentrate on these 18 police stations to break the supply chain of the drug traffickers, the DGP stated.
The DGP said big drug traffickers were arrested from Shillong who were getting supply from Manipur and Mizoram. “We have got inputs about the activities of drug traffickers in the state of Manipur and Mizoram and we instantly share these inputs with the police of the respective states,” he said.
Bishnoi said Meghalaya police is also seeking the cooperation of other NE states “so that we can unitedly control this menace.” He said that 8-19 drug traffickers have been convicted in the court and punishment ranges from 2 years to 10 years. “The conviction rate is improving slowly but the poor conviction rate still remains a cause of concern for us,” Bishnoi asserted.
According to the DGP, at least four police constables have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the supply of drugs as they themselves are also drug addicts. He said the department is seeking the assistance of qualified counsellors to organise counselling sessions for policemen who resorted to heavy drinking and are prone to be lured by the drug traffickers. Regarding the disposal of the seized drugs, the DGP said for drug disposal permission has to be taken from the court.
The state police have also launched a massive drive against bike lifters mostly from Tura and Shillong. During the last four months, the police have recovered 141 stolen bikes and arrested 61 bike lifters and registered 90 cases against them, the DGP added.