The black hole of drugs - high time that North East India seals it!

The most common transit point for Heroin is Manipur since it is the Indian state nearest to the border of Myanmar.

Organised crime in Nagaland is not very well documented owing to the fact that there are no gang influences or organised crime syndicates in the state. The people committing these crimes are just petty crooks. They come in numbers of threes and fours and rob passengers, hi-jack vehicles, scam innocent people, loot ATM's etc. The fact is that, these people exist and they do what they do in order to feed themselves and their families.
Sometimes they steal or rob people so that they can buy food and vegetables. At other times, buying clothes and affording everyday necessities is the simple motive of crime. However, most of the time, they indulge in criminal activities so that they can feed their own habits, essentially their addiction to drugs or alcohol.
There are no recognised criminal organisations in Nagaland, just like the Mafia in the United States of America. Unfortunately after discovering how lucrative and easy it is to earn money through selling drugs, many people from the state are trying to get a footing into the drug selling nexus. In the bygone era, it was pharmaceutical drugs or pills that would do the rounds in Nagaland's addiction cycle. But now, most people are switching to Heroin, which is incidentally among the deadliest drugs.
The drugs are smuggled through the borders which are between India and Myanmar. From the borders of Myanmar, it enters India after which it goes to the northeastern states of India. The most common transit point for Heroin is Manipur since it is the Indian state nearest to the border of Myanmar. The drugs are also brought into Nagaland via trucks or other smuggling routes used by smugglers.
There are a number of seizures at check gates and police outposts. Though a lot of smugglers are caught, the number of drugs being smuggled into Nagaland only continues to spiral upwards.
In the bygone era, it was pharmaceutical drugs or pills that would do the rounds in Nagaland's addiction cycle.
The peddlers and smugglers are not intimidated by the law because there is big money in the drug trade. Any person who knows the market for drugs would admit this fact instantly.
Representative image
Image: Representative image
Needless to say drugs are not good, especially heroin owing to its blinding effects on the human brain and senses. After the Pandemic hit the world, the price of Heroin skyrocketed. If it was Rs 2,500 for a small box earlier, now according to reliable sources, this price has shot up to Rs 6,000.
Interestingly, since the price skyrocketed overnight most of the addicts were left in a state of disarray. The list of people signing up for OST (Opioid Substitution Therapy) too was incredible as it had also skyrocketed around the same time.
With things coming back to normal, many people are trying to get a hold of these substances to sell or consume. In Nagaland too there is an increase in gangs (with five or six members) with or without guns with a singular objective of (drug) dealing. But these gangs are just minor pawns because the real criminals are actually the corrupted ministers, policemen, lawyers and other influential and powerful people.
Since drug dealers and consumers are multiplying, the society as a whole needs to take some stringent measures so that this black hole of drug addiction is sealed for good. The question is how? Answers can be many: some complex, some simple, some implementable and yet some other very idealistic and impractical.
We at Fit Northeast are strongly in support of all measures that are being taken (or will be taken) against the rampant menace of drug addiction and drug peddling in the region. After all many people have been rendered jobless in the aftermath of the pandemic and there is a possibility that many among them especially the young will take to drug peddling! We welcome your suggestions and views on this subject at editor@fitnortheast.org



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