The Navhind Times Archive

War on drugs is on: DGP

DGP Dr Muktesh Chander in an interview with Amresh Parab says that modern drug detection equipment will be used and intelligence gathering  will be strengthened to wipe out the drug trade in Goa

Q: It is a known fact that narcotic drugs are available in Goa. How do the Goa police intend to eradicate this menace?

Issues related to drugs  do crop up at a tourist place. Goa is no different place in this regard. We have been taking very strict action against drugs trade, and  as a result our seizures have increased and the number of arrests has gone up. It is  the start of a war on drug trade in Goa and we are going to continue with this. Very soon we will be acquiring modern drug detection equipment (Raman spectroscopy). This is a very useful instrument in detecting traces of drugs in  bags or on clothes and so on.  We are also going to hold a conference wherein police officials from the adjoining states such as Maharashtra and Karnataka as well as from Delhi and the states like Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh will be invited. The abovementioned states are tourist destinations and hence have  drugs connection. Our idea behind holding such a conference is to share intelligence and other information especially drug related. Officials from the Narcotics Control Bureau will be also invited for the conference.

Q: What about the awareness, especially among the youth, on drug abuse and its ill-effects?

We visit schools to create awareness on various issues which include drugs and road safety. It is a continuous process.

Q: It has been alleged that students are getting into drugs. How can it be tackled?

We have written to all school and college principals requesting to share information, if any, pertaining to substance or drug abuse issue in the school or college or sale of any contraband outside the institution. If  a boy or a girl is into drug abuse then they (institutions)  must counsel the child, call the parents or call us, if necessary. Except for one or two instances, no other educational institutions have responded. If there is a problem then they must come forward. Everybody says  that it (drug abuse) is prevailing, but there is no specific information. If you have information then provide it to us.

Q: Late night parties organised illegally are said to be potential hubs of drug use.

We have been conducting special drives along the coastal belt. Apart from keeping a tab on traffic violations, we are also keeping a watch on  clandestine late night parties along the coastal belt. One such party was stopped by the police some days back. We are keeping a track of the people who are trying to organise these ‘secret’ parties without any permission. We can’t allow such things to happen.

Q: How do you keep a track on the people who are trying to organise such  parties?

Through intelligence gathering. The human intelligence, social media intelligence and also technical intelligence. All methods are being used. We have already started a social media monitoring cell to keep a check on activities in the social media. In the age of technology, social media plays a vital role in intelligence gathering. It’s an important tool and we have started using it. Police personnel have been earmarked and have been briefed on the social media monitoring cell. Our police personnel need to be properly trained, and I have already started the training. We will also send them for training to the Maharashtra Intelligence Academy.

Q: There has been a general perception that availability of drugs and prostitution are attracting tourists to Goa. What is your viewpoint?

It is not so. In a tourist place such vices do prevail. It will be wrong to say that only for these purposes tourists come here. People are coming to Goa for its beauty, beaches and so many other nice things which attract tourists. A small percentage may look for bad things also.

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