In line with the government's mission to make Tripura a "drug-free state", various security agencies in the last six months have seized huge quantities of several drugs valued at Rs 33 crore, officials said here on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in New Delhi on Thursday appreciated the state government's all-out efforts to curb the drugs menace.
"In the past six months, different security agencies have seized 45,000 kg of dry cannabis (ganja), 1.70 crore ganja plants, 88,000 bottles of various types of cough syrups, 1.48 lakh habit-forming tablets, 2,626 grams of brown sugar and heroin in Tripura," an official of the revenue department said.
He said the market value of these drugs would be around Rs 33 crore.
"The cough syrup is mostly consumed by the youngsters in adjoining Bangladesh for its addictive quality. The codeine-laced cough syrup is consumed there in large quantities, against the recommended small doses, to get a kick.
"With the consumption of alcohol prohibited in Bangladesh, different brands of addictive cough syrups have been on the rise. Dhaka had earlier urged New Delhi to ban the drug that is manufactured in India," the official said.
In view of the commitment of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government to crackdown on the illegal trade in drugs and the instructions of the Chief Minister, who also holds the home portfolio, the Tripura Police, Tripura State Rifles (TSR), Border Security Force (BSF) and Directorate Revenue Intelligence (DRI) either separately or sometimes jointly conducted raids to seize the drugs, mostly during the smuggling to Bangladesh.
During the past six months, 271 cases were registered and 253 people arrested during the seizure of drugs, the official said.
According to different intelligence agencies, the various types of habit-forming tablets are being smuggled to northeastern states from Myanmar, which shares 1,643 km border with Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
Another official of the Tripura Chief Minister's secretariat said that Deb during his meeting with the Prime Minister apprised him that the state government had undertaken alternative source of livelihood in the areas under cannabis cultivation with the involvement of Forest, Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry departments.
"The Prime Minister lauded the efforts of the Chief Minister to deal with the illegal activities and assured full support of the central government to the state government's 'Nasha Mukt Tripura' (drug free Tripura) campaign," the official said.
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