Times of India | 1 day ago | 23-09-2022 | 11:09 am
PANAJI: Sale of drugs through the darknet and delivery through the postal service are the new challenges for seven states, including Goa. The inter-state intelligence coordination meeting on narcotic drugs and other organised crimes on Thursday discussed challenges and shared information on drug dealers, peddlers and all those involved in the drug trade. The meeting was attended by police officials from Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat and Odisha. Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials also attended the meeting. “The meeting was held to effectively deal with drug peddlers, drug mafia and drug carriers and share information about criminals,” director general of police (DGP) Jaspal Singh told reporters after the meeting. The meeting assumes greater significance as police in the state have started acting against the drug mafia. “A new trend is emerging where drugs are received through parcels and registered AD letters. All such issues were discussed,” Singh said. “In one case, an officer mentioned that drugs are being sold on the darknet and we have asked police to share the details about the same. It is very difficult to prevent dealings on the darknet because of the complex digital processes involved. One is not aware of where the dealing is being done and one has to do a lot of backward work,” the DGP said. Singh said that Goa police will also develop intelligence to counter drug deals on the darknet. “We will be requesting the postal department to come forward and develop some kind of mechanism to scan parcels. Of course there are complications as privacy is involved,” he said. The DGP said that each and every agency has to effectively work against this menace. “We don’t want the tag of being a destination where drugs are easily available. We have to make it difficult for peddlers to sell drugs in Goa. With this objective in mind, we invited representatives of other states so that we can jointly act against peddlers,” he said. “We shared the list of drug peddlers who have been arrested in other states,” he said, adding that it was also decided that all states will appoint a nodal officer so that in case any state police needs to conduct an operation in another state, they can coordinate with the nodal officer of that state.
More than 740 persons were arrested and drugs worth Rs 6,500 crore were seized by the state police in the last year, Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi told the Gujarat assembly Wednesday. The minister stated this even as he noted that the inclusion of drug-related offences under the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GUJCTOC) Bill required further discussion.On Wednesday, the first day of the two-day Assembly session, the amended GUJCTOC Bill, which dropped gambling as an offence under the Act, was unanimously passed. Two words—“terrorist act” and “gambling”—have been dropped from certain sections of the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Act, 2015. “Under Section 2 (h), the terrorist act has been defined. This is being duplicated in Section 2 (e). So, we are removing the word “terrorist act” from 2(e). We are not removing any action against terror (contained in the Act),” the minister told the House.He said the amendments were to “make certain provisions more meaningful and to make them easy to interpret so that no provisions are misinterpreted during implementation of the said Act, resulting in unnecessary hassle to the persons in state of Gujarat.”“Till now, no gambling case has been registered under GUJCTOC. Also, we already have a provision of punishment of less than three years imprisonment for gambling and in GUJCTOC, we can admit cases where punishment is more than three years. So, we have removed the word gambling from this,” he said, noting that gambling was being removed from Section 2(e).Sanghavi’s statements came as Congress MLAs proposed adding drug-related offences, extortion, land-grabbing, contract killings, economic offences, cyber crimes and human trafficking for prostition under the ambit of the Act. “We will fully discuss if drugs need to be included in GujCTOC, but none of the persons arrested in the last one year have been able to get out of custody,” Sanghavi said noting that the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) has made drug seizures not only in the state but also worked on joint efforts with central agencies in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Kolkata.Talking about the easy availability of drugs in Ahmedabad, Congress MLA Virji Thummar implored the minister to visit Sindhu Bhavan Road (in Ahmedabad city) on a Sunday. While Congress MLA Gyasuddin Sheikh pointed out drugs were easily available in pan shops and in pan masala pouches, MLA Baldev Thakor pointed out the alleged illegal activities at some spas and beauty parlours.The amended Bill seeks to replace The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022 that was promulgated when the House was not in session. It defines “organised crime” as “any continuing unlawful activity, including extortion, land-grabbing, contract-killing, economic offences, cyber crimes having severe consequences, running large-scale gambling rackets, human-trafficking racket for prostitution or ransom by an individual, singly or jointly, either as a member of an organised crime syndicate or on behalf of such syndicate, by use of violence or threat of violence or intimidation or coercion or other unlawful means.”The Bill states that the accused shall not be granted bail if it is noticed by the Special Court that he was on bail in an offence under this Act on the date of the offence in question.“If any person on behalf of a member of an organised crime syndicate is, or at any time after the commencement of the Act, has been in possession of movable or immovable property which he cannot satisfactorily account for, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall be not less than three years but which may extend to imprisonment for 10 years and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than Rs one lakh and such property shall also be liable for attachment and forfeiture,” it added.Meanwhile, strict implementation of GUJCTOC has helped neutralise gangs in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Patan and Saurashtra, said Sanghavi.The minister named the gangs that were dealt with under GUJCTOC. These include the Zilia gang of Patan, Vichiya gang of Saurashtra, Asif Tomato and Sajid Kothari Gangs of Surat, Nazir Vora gang of Ahmedabad and Aslam Bodia Gang of Vadodara. While arms and copies of land documents were recovered from Zilia Gang of Patan, the Sajid Kothari Gang had constructed illegally on government land that was pulled down, the minister added.
RAJKOT: Police on Friday seized 17,748 bottles of Oxytocin, banned by the government for veterinary use, in Gujarat's Devbhumi Dwarka district. According to police they have recovered 2000 bottle form the possession of Karsan Gojiya, a resident of Chokhanda village, 800 bottles from the possession of Ramde Valani from his residence in Bhatiya village in Jam Kalyanpur taluka and 14,900 bottles from the possession of Vanraj Jadeja, a resident of Jamkhambhaliya. Devbhumi Dwarka superintendent of police Nitesh Pandey said, "We had specific information about the storage of these bottles, and based on that we had raided three premises of various talukas and found drugs".
A day after the Vedanta-Foxconn project was shifted to Gujarat, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday claimed that Maharashtra has lost on yet another big-ticket project of bulk drug park.“After the loss of the Vedanta-Foxconn project, the bulk drug park that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) had worked on for so long has gone to three states – Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh,” Aaditya told mediapersons.“The unconstitutional government of Maharashtra not only took 40 (Sena) MLAs but has also snatched two of the important state projects,” he added.On September 1, the Centre had extended “in-principle” approval to the proposals of Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh under the scheme for promotion of bulk drug parks – a key initiative to support the bulk drugs manufacturing industry.The scheme, with a financial outlay of Rs 3,000 crore, notified in 2020, provides for financial assistance to three states for establishing bulk drug parks and aims to bring down the cost of manufacturing of bulk drugs by creation of world class common infrastructure facilities supported by the Centre and thereby, increase the competitiveness of the domestic bulk drug industry.Maharashtra was pushing for Roha and Murud tehsils in coastal Raigad district for the bulk drug park. The state had already earmarked 5,000 acre in these two tehsils for the project. In 2020, the state Cabinet had cleared special incentive scheme for the bulk drug park project.The scheme includes waiver on electricity and stamp duty charges, concession in power tariffs at Rs 1.5 per unit for 10 years and five per cent interest concession to micro, small or medium enterprises, among others. These incentives were to be applicable for five years.The government had also granted concession of Rs 2 per unit in power tariff or cross-subsidy for 10 years for common facilities like waste water management, water supply and solid management that would be set up by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation.Aaditya said that though he won’t complain about other states getting the project, the Maharashtra government should explain why it could not pursue the matter effectively with the Centre. “The youth of this state has already lost over one lakh job opportunities. Will the ministers focus on governance rather than playing politics?” he asked.
AHMEDABAD: The state government on Tuesday extended the ban on gutka and pan masalas containing tobacco or nicotine, by one year. A statement from the Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) on Tuesday said the ban on these products has been extended by a year with effect from September 9. It said that persons found violating the ban will face strict action according to the law. tnn
Delhi Chief Minister and national convener of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal arrived in Ahmedabad, on Sunday, on a three-day tour of Gujarat.During his stay in the state, Kejriwal is scheduled to hold four townhall events with different vocational groups in Ahmedabad.As per an AAP release, Kejriwal will hold three town hall events with auto drivers, businessmen and advocates, on Monday. He will also do a townhall event with sanitation workers on Tuesday.He is also expected to announce an important ‘guarantee’ for the people of Gujarat during his stay ahead of assembly elections.After landing at Ahmedabad airport, Kejriwal hit out at the ruling BJP government over drugs entering Gujarat in large quantities through a port and being smuggled to Punjab and other parts of the country.He questioned the “failure” of the administration to stop the transport of drugs and said the people suspect that the administration at the top is complicit.“Several incidents in the recent past show that large quantities of drugs are entering through a Gujarat port. From here, the drugs go to Punjab and other parts of the country. Why is this happening? Apparently, somewhere the administration is involved at the top,” Kejriwal told reporters when asked about the incidents of seizure of drugs in Gujarat.He didn’t take the name of any particular port.“From Gujarat, these drugs spread across the country. Youth from across the country are consuming them. The youth of Gujarat consume them. Drugs also go to Punjab and other parts of the country. This should stop. People are very angry why this is not being stopped,” Kejriwal told reporters at Ahmedabad airport.Earlier, the BJP government had drawn flak over the seizure of drugs in Gujarat.In July, the state Anti-Terrorist Squad seized 70 kg of heroin estimated to be worth over Rs 350 crore from a container near the Mundra port in the Kutch district. In May, DRI seized 56 kg of cocaine, estimated to be worth around Rs 500 crore, from a container near the Mundra port. In April, the DRI seized 205.6 kg of heroin worth Rs 1,439 crore from a container near the Kandla port in Kutch.(With PTI inputs)