TO PREVENT the growing menace of sale and abuse of drugs, the Commissioner of Police, Amulya Patnaik, has directed all deputy commissioners to constitute specialised “Narcotics Squads” in all 14 districts. The standing order was issued days after the Delhi High Court directed police to enforce Section 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. The section pertains to punishment for anyone giving intoxicating liquor or drugs to children.
The order, sent to all the special commissioners of police (law and order), JCPs and DCPs, stated that they should identify and form a team immediately. Each squad should have staff of two upper rung policemen and eight lower rung policemen.
The direction states that even though the existing laws are sufficient to deal with the problem, there is an urgent need to make the most of the the legal provisions and supplement them by adopting effective administrative steps.
“Currently, the only specialised unit for prevention of sale and trafficking of narcotic drugs is with the Crime Branch. In addition, district police also search and seize narcotic drugs and arrest drug peddlers. For more effective coordinated action, Narcotics Squads will be constituted in every district. The squads will be headed by an inspector-rank officer, who will work under the supervision of the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations unit),” Patnaik said.
Patnaik also directed the in-charges of the Narcotics Squads to regularly visit vulnerable schools, identified by State Project Director- SSA, department of education to identify drug peddlers. “All district DCPs must ensure that officers, posted with the Narcotic Squad and police station concerned, should visit such identified schools at least once a week and ensure “zero” tolerance on this issue,” he said.