HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao directed the police and excise officials to declare an all-out war against drug abuse and drug trafficking in the state. He said drug menace had been on the rise in the state and it should be dealt with iron hand before the situation went out of hand. He also expressed concern over illicit liquor and gambling clubs surfacing again in the state.
The Chief Minister said the reports of drug addicts forming WhatsApp groups in the state, exchanging messages on drugs availability, purchasing and consuming drugs were alarming. He directed officials to form a special cell with a DG-level officer to check illegal drugs in the state. He asked officials to wipe out opium’s illegal cultivation and usage and stamp it down with a firm foot.
The Chief Minister held a meeting with top officials of police and excise departments at Pragathi Bhavan on Wednesday to take stock of the drug menace in the state. Home minister Mohd Mahmood Ali, excise minister V. Srinivas Goud, chief advisor Rajiv Sharma, chief secretary Somesh Kumar, advisor (home department) Anurag Sharma, DGP M. Mahender Reddy and police commissioners were present in the meeting.
The Chief Minister said as there were reports that the usage of cannabis (ganja) was on the increase, there was an urgent need to declare an all-out war against drug abuse. He instructed the officials concerned to prepare a comprehensive action plan to totally eradicate the ganja production.
“We have successfully controlled extremism in the state. Behind this victory, there are sacrifices from the police force. They have waged a valiant fight. With this, the prestige and respect of the state has gone up. It is unfortunate that while the state is making rapid strides in development, the availability of banned drugs has increased,” the Chief Minister said.
“If we do not remove this malady, there is a danger that the results of all the victories that we have registered so far will go waste. The police and excise department officials should take serious note of these warning bells. I have convened this high-level meeting with lot of pain and concern. One can assess the situation based on the reports that some youths are forming WhatsApp groups, exchanging messages and taking drugs. Innocent youth are becoming prey to drug peddlers. Due to the usage of the banned drugs, the mental situation of youth will be harmed and it may lead to some of them committing suicide. De-addiction is a complicated and long procedure. The government is ready to provide anything to you to control this. Eradicate the ganja mafia and don’t spare the criminals whoever they are,” Rao said.
He wanted the constitution of a special cell with a DG-level officer as the head to deal with illegal drugs. The Chief Minister instructed excise commissioner Sarfraj Ahmed to strengthen the enforcement wing and flying squads. He wanted special surveillance at the educational institutions. He said he also wanted an increase in the number of check-posts at the state borders, strengthening of communication networks and providing required vehicles. He wanted the state intelligence department to form a special wing for this. Rao made it clear that the officials who help get good results in eradicating ganja will be given cash awards, rewards and special promotions.
“Illicit liquor and gambling clubs are again coming up in the state. In the past, women appreciated the way the state government has controlled gambling clubs. Take stringent measures that this malady does not surface again in society. Playing cards should end in the state. We have earned a name in the development and welfare sectors in the country. The police and excise department should work in coordination and enhance the state’s prestige by totally eradicating this drug menace and even the seeds of cannabis should not be found in the state. Make our state as a drug-free state,” the Chief Minister instructed.