Drug abuse may top offences: Cops

Shillong, Nov. 16: Drug abuse will soon top the crime charts if allowed to go unchecked, East Khasi Hills superintendent of police M. Kharkrang said at a seminar here today.

So far property-related crimes have occupied the top spot in the city.

Giving a PowerPoint presentation at the Safe-Secure-Shillong meet with local headmen from various localities, Kharkrang advised them to be tactful whenever they apprehended a drug addict or peddler to ensure that evidence was not destroyed.

The meet was organised by East Khasi Hills district police.

"If you happen to catch a drug addict or peddler, do not take the drugs from their pocket. You must also ensure that they do not throw away the drugs. Many times when police reach the scene where the drug addict/peddler has been caught, we find that the drugs are either in the hands of the headman or the people who apprehended them," Kharkrang said.

He said if the people who apprehend drug users or peddlers were not careful, the case might become weak and the accused might evade conviction.

Later, talking to reporters here on the sidelines of the seminar, Kharkrang said drug abuse was on the rise. Even parents come to the police requesting them to arrest their drug-addict sons, he added.

"There are several youths who are into drugs. While some are first timers, others become addicts. If not curbed, drug abuse will be a major problem."

Kharkrang also said that the police would hold interactive sessions with the youths in colleges and localities and sensitise them, as their co-operation was needed to tackle crimes.

The top cop also drew attention to rising property-related crimes. In East Khasi Hills district alone, the crime chart from January till September this year showed that there were 36 per cent robberies, 12 per cent burglaries and 2 per cent dacoities.

Kharkrang also said there was no progress in the registration of tenants. "House owners should register their tenants with the local dorbar shnong as this will serve as a background check of the tenants. Some employers do not even know their own employees," he added.

On the floating population, Kharkrang said they mostly stayed in unregulated localities and in no man's and. "People from these areas commit crimes in other areas," he said.

Kharkrang also cautioned locality heads and NGOs not to outrage the modesty of women caught in flesh trade.

Plea on prostitution: In the face of rising crimes against women, a former Meghalaya additional advocate-general today suggested "legalising" prostitution in the state as is being done in some places in Southeast Asia.

"Prostitution should be legalised to counter sex-related crimes," former additional advocate-general W.H.D Syngkon said at the meet.

There has been a rise in the crimes against women. From January to June this year, of 91 cases of crimes against women 60 are rape cases.

While urging the police to take up the suggestion with the state government, Syngkon, one of the longest serving headmen in the city, said the proposal was put forward after analysing the burgeoning sex-related crime statistics in the entire state.

At the same time, Syngkon also suggested that sale of country liquor be legalised to check the increase in bootlegging.

"If we legalise the sale of illicit or country liquor, government can impose checks and balances," he said.

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