NPP Nagaland calls for war against drugs and tobacco
Dimapur, June 10 (EMN): The National People’s Party (NPP) Nagaland state unit has expressed concern over the “rising” cases of drugs and tobacco addiction, especially among the youngsters, saying that the state has become a haven for drug peddlers and addicts.
In a press release, the party said that many youths have either ruined their lives or are on the verge of getting addicted due to this menace, which has remained unchecked for many years despite numerous concerns by NGOs and other forums including the Kripa Foundation and the Federation of Indian NGOs for Prevention of Drugs Abuse – Nagaland Chapter.
Though drug abuse prevails across India, it said the Northeast region has rampant linkages with the global narcotics industry.
“Ever since the international crackdown on the Golden Triangle in the late 1980s, a huge chunk of narcotics leave Nagaland everyday unchecked and right under the nose of the authorities. Today, Manipur and Nagaland are not only transit points for narcotics but a source and destination.
“As a result, in Nagaland and Manipur hundreds and thousands of innocent school and college students are being victimised on a daily basis by these unscrupulous drug-lords,” read the press release.
It said banned substances are brought into Nagaland from Myanmar via the national highways and then transported to other parts of India.
“According to a report by the SP, Narcotics, the main drug trafficking routes pass through Manipur, Nagaland and Assam. There are well-established cartels, especially in Dimapur which are run and managed by a network of influential and powerful people who are well protected,” it added.
The party also lamented easy availability of tobacco products despite the ban in the state and restriction of its sale in the vicinity of educational institutions under the COTPA Act as well as initiatives by various villages, colonies and ward councils.
“The most alarming matter is that most of the tobacco users are young students and teenagers which have far-reaching detrimental effects on their physical as well as mental health. Whom should we blame for this horrible mess?” it said while calling out individuals and organisations “carrying out this heinous chain of drug supply under the guise of a Christian majority state”.
“It is high time to give it a serious thought and mete out the harshest punishment possible against those individuals and organisations that are destroying the society and the next generation for easy money,” it added.
The party stated that the police were able to put some “petty peddlers behind bars” but not the main masterminds and kingpins behind the drugs racket despite concrete evidence because of their “multifarious connections”. It added that government agencies like Police and Narcotics department not turning a blind eye to this growing menace.
“The day is not far when Nagaland will become the next drug capital of the country if the government, the police, the civil organisations, the church bodies and the common people do not open their eyes to this menace and find out the wolves in the sheep skins and take drastic actions and measures against these notorious activities,” it stated.
The party suggested measures like setting up of vigilance committees by colonies, wards and villages to check criminal activities including drug peddling and inform the police and local authorities about any suspicious activities.
It also suggested setting up of CCTV cameras at strategic locations and conduct regular awareness camps across the state to make the public know their roles and responsibilities towards making the state drug and tobacco-free.
The party went on to give a clarion call to wage a war against the menace of drugs and tobacco abuse for the betterment of the next generation.
“Who will enjoy the fruit of the awaited Naga solution when there will be no one left?” it asked.