Aizawl/Kohima, July 2 (IANS) The Mizoram and Nagaland governments have asked officials and security forces to tighten their vigil against drug abuse and trafficking of drugs, officials said Tuesday.
Both Mizoram and Nagaland, which share 404 km and 215 km unfenced border with Myanmar respectively, have close proximity with the 'Golden Triangle', comprising Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. The 'Golden Triangle' is one of the most notorious drug producing and trafficking regions in the world.
"Being in close proximity with the 'Golden Triangle', Mizoram has to combat drug abuse on a war footing," Mizoram Chief Minsiter Lal Thanhawla said at a programme on drug abuse and trafficking of drugs.
Commending the efforts of non-governmental organisations in bringing down drug use among people, Thanhawla emphasised the need for strengthening and empowering the excise and narcotics department and police.
He said: "It is a matter of great concern that foreign nationals are also engaged in trafficking drugs into the northeastern region. Sons of the soil have to make renewed and concerted efforts to battle the menace of drugs."
The chief minister burned drugs worth Rs.22.80 crore, confiscated by the excise and narcotics department and police during 2011-2013.
Nagaland Commissioner of Excise Maongwati Aier said that the state has been ranked sixth among the HIV/AIDS prevalent states in India.
Aier said: "The magnitude of the problem of drug abuse has become very grim as the majority of youths of 15 to 25 years of age are vulnerable and affected by drug abuse due to sharing syringes and multiple change of partners and unsafe sex."
He urged all law enforcement agencies, organisations and NGOs to work collectively in combating the drug menace in the northeastern region.
"A roadmap with follow up action, multi-pronged approach and strategy has to be taken to combat the menace of drug abuse," he added.
Seized drugs comprising opium, ganja, capsules and cough syrup worth Rs 38.55 lakh were also destroyed before the media.
Various types of drugs originating from the 'Golden Triangle' are smuggled via Moreh - a town along the India-Myanmar border with Manipur - into Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, other northeastern states and metros Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai.