Make our state the drug-free State: CM

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Chief Minister Sri K. Chandrashekar Rao has instructed the police and excise officials to wipe out Opium’s illegal cultivation, usage and stamp it down with firm feet. The CM has addressed the high-level meeting of officials from these two departments at Pragathi Bhavan here on Wednesday.

The CM said with reports that the usage of Cannabis (Ganja) is on the increase, there is an urgent need arisen to declare all out war against drug abuse. The CM said before the situation goes out of hand and becomes severe one should be on alert. He instructed the officials concerned to prepare a comprehensive action plan to totally eradicate the ganja production.

“We have achieved Telangana state after a long fight. We have achieved several targets with development as the sole aim. With the development that we have achieved in the agriculture sector, crops are being cultivated in 1.30 Crore acres. The state is marching ahead of Punjab in the agriculture sector. Through Mission Bhagiratha, safe and pure drinking water is supplied to even remote villages in the forest areas. We have achieved a wonderful result in the power sector. Whatever we have aspired during the Telangana statehood movement, we have been fulfilling and marching ahead. We have won appreciation within the country and the world over. 99 percent of the worldwide corporations are investing huge funds in the state. It is due to the excellent law and order situation that our police with their professional skills and capabilities are maintaining, we are able to attract such huge investments,” the CM said.

“We have successfully controlled extremism in the state. Behind this victory, there are sacrifices from the police force. They have waged a valiant fight. With this, the prestige and respect of the state have gone up. It is unfortunate that while the state is making rapid strides in development, the availability of the banned drugs has increased,” the CM said.

“If we do not remove this malady, there is a danger that the results of all the victories that we have registered so far will go waste. The police and Excise department officials should take serious note of these warning bells. I have convened this high-level meeting with a lot of pain and concern. One can assess the situation based on the reports that the estranged youth are forming WhatsApp groups, exchanging messages and taking drugs. Innocent youth are becoming prey to drug peddlers. Due to the usage of the banned drugs, the mental situation of youth will be harmed and it may lead to some of them committing suicide. De-addiction is a complicated and long procedure. The government is ready to provide anything to you to control this. Eradicate the Ganja mafia and don’t spare the criminals whoever they may be,” the CM said.

The CM wanted the constitution of a special Cell with a DG level officer as the head. The CM instructed the Excise Commissioner Sarfraj Ahmed to strengthen the Enforcement wing and the flying squads. He wanted special surveillance at the educational institutions. The CM wanted an increase in the number of check posts at the state borders, strengthening the communication network and providing the required vehicles. He wanted the State Intelligence department to form a special wing for this. The CM made it clear that the officials who help get good results in eradicating Ganja, will be given cash awards, rewards and special promotions.

“Telangana Police are regarded as the best Police. Keep it up. Study the places in the country where Ganja is controlled effectively. Illicit liquor and playing cards clubs are again coming up in the state. In the past, women have appreciated the way the state government has controlled the playing cards clubs. Take stringent measures that this malady is not surfaced again in society. Playing cards should end in the state. We have earned names in the development and welfare sectors in the country. The police and excise department should work in coordination and enhance the state’s prestige by totally eradicating this drug menace and even the seeds of cannabis should not be found in the state. Make our state the drug-free State,” the CM instructed.

In this meeting, Home Minister Sri Mahmood Ali, Excise Minister Sri V. Srinivas Goud, former Minister Sri Kadiyam Srihari, Government’s Chief Advisor Sri Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary Sri Somesh Kumar, Advisor (Home Department) Sri Anurag Sharma, DGP Sri M Mahender Reddy, CM Principal Secretary Sri S Narsing Rao, Secretaries Ms. Smita Sabharwal, Sri Seshadri, Sri Rahul Bojja, Sri Bhoopal Reddy, Sri Rajsekhar Reddy and others participated.

Chief Minister Sri K. Chandrashekar Rao, in the backdrop of availability of Ganja in the state, has instructed the officials of Police and Excise departments to plan a coordinated strategy to eradicate Ganja and Gudumba in the state. The CM said based on the users of Ganja, arrest those supplying the substance and put an end to the supply of Ganja. The CM said the issue is at the stage of controlling and any negligence it would cross beyond the control. The Excise and police officials at the high-level review meeting have explained to the CM about the strategies they are implementing. The officials brought to the notice of the CM that the Ganja is being cultivated in Andhra-Odisha region and it is supplied from there to our state from Chintur and Bhadrachalam, later into Karnataka and Maharashtra states. They said to eradicate this, there is a need to have coordination with the police and excise officials of these states. The officials informed the CM said that Ganja is coming from the other neighbouring states, in Chhattisgarh ganja is being produced and supplied.

Among those using Ganja are migrant labourers, and the youth, auto drivers and Hamalis. Officials said that if focus is centered on the Ganja it could be eradicated. And gave suggestions in this regard. The meeting opined that along with the police and excise departments, the forest department checks posts should also increase the surveillance.

Speaking on the occasion, DGP Mahender Reddy has asked the officials to take stringent measures to identify the hotspots of the ganja consumption centers and takes stringent measures to control them. Measures will be taken to coordinate with Vizag police and Malkangiri police.” Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said that a step forward is taken with the coordinated efforts of the Excise and Police departments.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said, eradication of illicit liquor and Ganja should be taken as a holy task and the officials should work with no compromise. The CM said since the Gudumba is produced locally the Excise department could curb it. The CM made it clear that Collectors would be given clear cut directions to rehabilitate those included in the Gudumba manufacturing. The CM expressed anguish at the way young tribal women became widows when their husbands became victims of the illicit liquor. Hence, he said the ban on Gudumba is being implemented strictly.  He asked the Excise officials to be alert on the reports that illicit liquor is being made in the state again. The CM instructed Excise minister Srinivas Goud and Commissioner Sarfraj Ahmed to be more alert. He wanted measures to be taken so that Ganja traders and cultivators would feel that they could no longer indulge in Ganja trade in the State. The CM wanted the Intelligence department to play a key role in eradicating the malady. He wanted the setup of a special Cell with DG level officer monitoring and present Ganja from entering the state. The CM wanted the Village Sarpanches to inform the Excise officials about the Ganja cultivation in their villages. He wanted the appointment of special advocates to deal with these cases so that criminals may be punished expeditiously. The CM also wanted special programmes to be conducted to create awareness among the youth about drug abuse. He said fear about AIDs was done with the campaign. The CM handed over the responsibility of making short films, video ads to the Chief Secretary on the ill effects of the drugs. He wanted lessons to be included in the school curriculum on the ill effects of drugs. The CM has instructed OSD Sri Desapthy Srinivas to include the special lessons on drug abuse and its adverse effects in the curricula syllabus.

For those cultivating Ganja, their permits would be abolished, schemes like Rythu Bandhu, and Bhima would not be extended to them. The CM said another high-level meeting with the officials concerned would be convened to finalize the full time strategy.