143 arrested on drug charges, HM says anguished by APP personnel’s involvement in drug supply and consumption

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 8 Jun: The Arunachal Pradesh Police (APP) has so far registered 86 FIRs and arrested 143 people in the state in connection with drug consumption and trafficking this year – much higher than the numbers of FIRs lodged and arrests made in connection with drug-related activities last year.

These arrests were made in the past one month, following the annual conference of SPs/COs held under the leadership of Chief Minister Pema Khandu in Tawang on 19 April.

The figures were much less in the corresponding period of 2020. The police registered a total of 28 FIRs and arrested 56 people from January to June 2020.

Addressing reporters at the police officers’ mess in Chimpu near here on Tuesday, Home Minister Bamang Felix expressed anguish over the increasing involvement of APP personnel in consumption and trade of narcotic substances.

He said the police department is committed to eradicate the drug menace and create a drug-free state. At the same time, the department is also taking strict action against police personnel involved either in drug trafficking or consumption, he said.

Felix said that 11 APP personnel were arrested and later suspended last year. Likewise, 14 APP personnel were arrested and suspended while two were dismissed from service this year, he added.

Felix also informed that the people arrested in connection with drug dealing and consumption have either been detained by the police or are in judicial custody, and none of them have been granted bail.

“It is not only the duty of the police department to eradicate the drug menace from the state but also a responsibility of the citizens,” he said, and appealed to the citizens to inform the police about any kind of drug-related activity, adding that the names of informers will be kept secret.

Felix also said the state government is working on establishing rehabilitation centres across the state, “as per need,” and on sponsoring rehab centres being run by NGOs.

Meanwhile, Director General of Police RP Upadhyaya said the department is making every effort to make the state drug-free by the end of 2022, “as committed by CM Pema Khandu.”

Acknowledging the women’s welfare organizations and other NGOs of the state for providing information on drug trade and usage, Upadhyaya said the drug menace can only be eradicated through people’s participation.

“The toughest job to eradicate the drug menace is to break down the network of drug suppliers, and the police have been successful in breaking the network to some extent with the help of neighbouring state police, Assam,” he said.