Manipur violence caused increase in drug trafficking: Mizo minister

Manipur violence caused increase in drug trafficking: Mizo minister

Aizawl: Mizoram Excise and Narcotics Minister Lalnghinglova Hmar said on Tuesday that due to ongoing ethnic violence in neighboring Manipur, the number of drug trafficking in the state has increased.
Answering a question in the budget session on Tuesday, Hmar said that since the communal violence in Mizoram, the number of drug seizures has increased significantly as drugs are being smuggled from other countries to Manipur and Tripura through Mizoram.
He said that after the anti-drug campaign launched by the government, churches and civil society organizations, there has been a significant reduction in the circulation or use of drugs at the local level.
According to Hmar, the state Excise and Narcotics Department alone has seized 15 kg of heroin, 96.48 kg of methamphetamine pills and 238.6 kg of ganja (hemp) besides a substantial quantity of prohibited alcohol since January this year.

A total of 1,211 people have been arrested in drug-related cases since January and on average over 20 people are arrested in drug-related cases every day, he said.

The minister said that drug abuse has adversely affected the Mizo society and the state government in collaboration with NGOs and churches is making efforts to curb the menace.

He said that efforts are on to strengthen the excise department and to address manpower crunch.

“Because of drug trafficking and drug abuse, Mizoram now is in a precarious condition. The government, NGOs, churches and the people in general must work collectively to improve our situation, ” Hmar said.

According to the state Excise and Narcotics Department, 10 people, including a female, have died due to drug abuse since January this year.

Last year, Mizoram registered 74 deaths due to drug abuse, which is the highest after 2004, the department said.

Of the 74 victims, 12 were females.

The northeastern state registered the first drug-related death due to heroin in 1984.

Since then, 1,820 people, including 220 females, have died due to drug abuse.

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