Image used for representational purposes only.

SHILLONG:  

Police have arrested 134 drug traffickers in the past four months, but not a single case has been chargesheeted  due to delay in completing the investigation. Besides, drug traffickers are able to obtain bail as 80 per cent of cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act fail in the court due to procedural lapses.

“I agree there is a delay to complete the investigation. To overcome this problem we have been calling the IOs with their case dairies and senior officers are supervising their case dairies so that procedural lapses should not be there,” he said adding “80 per cent of the NDPS Act cases are failing in the court because of procedural lapses and noncompliance of the laid down procedure under NDPS Act (small procedural lapse) sometimes by the IO, the accused gets bail,” said Director General of Police L R Bishnoi during a press conference here on Friday.

“In order to overcome this problem, we are training the IOs and senior officers and we are concentrating on capacity building so that they understand the procedure in detail and a watertight case can be filed, chargesheeted and prosecuted,” the DGP stated.

He said that 8-19 drug traffickers have been convicted and punishment ranges from two years to 10 years. “The conviction rate is improving slowly but the poor conviction rate still remains a cause of concern for us,” Bishnoi asserted.

According to the DGP, at least four constables have been arrested for their involvement in the supply of drugs as they themselves are also drug addicts. He said the department is seeking the assistance of qualified counselors to organise counseling sessions for policemen who resorted to heavy drinking and are prone to be lured by the drug traffickers.

Besides the arrest of the 134 drug traffickers police have seized drugs worth over Rs 18.33 crore.

“We have waged a war against drugs throughout the length and breadth of Meghalaya. During the last four months (from June to September), we have recovered drugs worth over Rs 18.33 crore. This is a huge recovery and credit goes to the state police, anti-narcotic task force as well as special branch for timely collection and dissemination of intelligence,” the DGP said.

Of  the 134 drug traffickers arrested, 123 are from Meghalaya and 11 from other states like Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, which indicated that the drug traffickers are interstate gangs. Also 125 are males and 9 females.

The DGP further informed that most of the drug trafficking is taking place in eight of the twelve districts of the state with Eastern West Khasi Hills, East Garo Hills, North Garo Hills and South West Garo Hills not registering a single case under NDPS.

The DGP said that 18 out of 76 police stations have shown registration of NDPS Act cases. “Therefore, we will concentrate on these 18 thanas to break the supply chain of the drug traffickers,” he said.

Whether any kingpins were arrested during such operations, the DGP said some drug traffickers were arrested from Shillong who were getting supply from the state of Manipur and Mizoram.

He said the Meghalaya Police is also seeking the cooperation of other NE states “so that we can unitedly control this menace.”