The Karnataka government is “waging a war on the drug menace” in the state, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Tuesday. His remark came in response to queries raised by opposition members at the Vidhana Soudha, Assembly.
Taking the floor on the second day of the ongoing Winter Session, Bommai reeled off statistics to underline his government’s commitment to fighting the drug menace. The minister said till November-end, the state police filed as many as 3,852 cases under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
“The figure marks an increase in comparison to 1,125 such cases filed in 2017, 1,031 in 2018 and 1,661 in 2019. Charge sheets have been submitted in 2,285 cases out of the 3852 booked this year, while investigation is underway in others,” Bommai said.
The minister added that the government will bring “comprehensive amendments” to existing laws to ensure the drug problem is effectively dealt with. “We are already revisiting some rules of the NDPS Act to simplify them and enable more raids and seizures,” he said, adding that the police have been successful in “instilling fear” in the organisers of rave parties.
He said his government was working on a “comprehensive law” to deal with drugs and a draft will be sent to the Centre soon for consideration. “We’re revising the rules under the NDPS Act. We’re simplifying them to help our police forces conduct more raids and seizures. The amended rules will be notified soon,” he said.
Former ministers Priyank Kharge, Eshwar Kahndre and MLAs Abbayya Prasad and R Narendra were among Opposition members who raised concerns around drug rackets mushrooming in different parts of the state.
Further, the Minister added that more forensic science laboratories (FSL) will be established in the state to enable faster investigation of such cases in the state. “New FSLs will be established in Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubballi, Kalaburagi, and Belagavi within a year. This would lessen the burden on the FSL in Bengaluru submitting reports on drug-related cases,” Bommai said.
Bommai added that 5,049 strips of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) were seized in multiple raids conducted since January, adding that the haul is the highest compared to seizures over the last few years. “We have seized 5,049 LSD strips this year in comparison to 150 last year. The yearly number of such strips seized had not exceeded 200 in the recent past,” Bommai said.
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