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Drugs worth over Rs 5,330 crore were seized and 102 people involved in illegal drug trafficking were arrested by the Gujarat police in the last one-and-a-half year – from August 2021 to February 2023, Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi told the Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday.
The issue was raised by Congress MLAs Amit Chavda and Arjun Modhwadia along with BJP’s Pravinkumar Mali and Uday Kangad during a discussion under Assembly rule 116, which deals with “matters of urgent public importance”.
Sanghavi said, “From August 2021 to February 2023, the Gujarat police seized over 1,000 kg of drugs worth over Rs 5,338 crore and nabbed 102 accused persons, including 56 drug mafia foreign nationals.”
Of the 56 foreign nationals held since August 2021 for their involvement in illegal drug trade, 44 belonged to Pakistan, seven were from Iran, three were Afghan nationals and two were Nigerian nationals, according to the information shared by the Minister in the House.
During the discussion, Congress Member of Parliament Amit Chavda said that cases of sale and distribution of drugs are increasing in the state and despite so many drugs seized from Gujarat, only two people have taken action.
Senior Congress MLA Arjun Modhwadia claimed that the drug menace has been on the rise in the state in the last six to seven years as a result of steps taken by the Punjab government.
“As a result (of the action taken by the Punjab government), Gujarat has become a gateway for drugs for the last six to seven years. According to the Narcotics Control Bureau, only 10 percent of the drugs are seized while 90 percent are able to make their way into the country. The NCB data also indicates that drugs pass through Adani Port. Maximum drugs are seized and routed through the coastal belt of Kutch and Porbandar,” he added.
In addition to this, Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar said that this is also a fact that drugs are consumed in Gujarat which is supported by the NCRB data.
Strongly objecting to the mention of Punjab, the minister said, “For the sake of politics why are you defaming Gujarat? Are you comparing the youth of Gujarat with Punjab? The whole world knows that Punjab is the drug capital of this country. “
“Gujarat Police has not only seized drugs at Adani Port but also at Kolkata Port. As of 2021, Gujarat ranks lowest in narcotics crime in India. In narcotics crime, Punjab has a crime rate of 32.8 percent, while Gujarat’s rate is only 0.7 percent, which is the lowest among all the states in the country,” he added.
The minister also said that the police and the government of different states are coming to Gujarat to understand this anti-drug action plan, which is a source of pride for the Gujarat government and the Gujarat police.
On the steps taken for young drug addicts, the minister added that rehabilitation centers have also been made operational.
Apart from that, Gujarat is also the first state in the country to announce a “Drug Reward Policy” for eradicating drugs, he added.