HM to inaugurate 1st National Conference of ANTF heads today

Amit Shah addressing during a presser [Representational Image]
Amit Shah addressing during a presser [Representational Image] File: Mir Imran for Greater Kashmir

New Delhi: Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah would inaugurate the first National Conference of Anti Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) heads of states and Union Territories (UTs) here Wednesday.

The event is significant amid Centre's focus to crack down on sale of psychotropic substances and expedite cases registered under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. In the conference, heads of States and UTs will apprise about their anti-drug programme and a roadmap to tackle the menace.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in December 2021 had instructed the States to form dedicated Anti-Narcotics Task Forces (ANTF) under the directors general of police to fight the menace of drugs and realise the dream of a 'drug-free India'.

It was also to launch a national call centre 'Manas' while an effective system is also being put in place to tackle the increasing use of "dark net and cryptocurrency in illegal drugs trade".

It was also informed for use of drones and satellite imagery to locate illegal drug cultivation and suggested for an elaborate awareness campaign against drugs.

These decisions were taken at a meeting of the Apex Level Committee of Narco Coordination Center (NCORD) chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi then.

The Narendra Modi government has adopted a zero tolerance policy against narcotics and considers drug abuse as a major threat to national security, which can only be dealt with overall coordination.

According to MHA statistics, 35 lakh kg of drugs worth Rs 1,881 crore were seized between 2018 and 2021 as against 16 lakh kg of narcotics worth Rs 604 crore between 2011 and 2014.

During the meeting then, the Home Minister gave directions to form a central NCORD unit under the Narcotics Control Bureau at the national level. It was also decided that narcotics training module should be prepared at national level so that police, paramilitary personnel, prosecutors and people from civil departments can be trained,

In the meeting, it was also informed that a standing Inter-Ministerial Committee will be set up to curb misuse of dual-use precursor chemicals, which will be conducted by the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers. It will have officials from the NCB and Department of Revenue.

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