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Drugs and narcotics menace in Himachal: 133 kg charas, 10 kg opium, 223 grams heroin seized in 3 months



Himachal Youth in Drugs

133 kg of “charas” (cannabis), 10 kg opium, 223 grams heroin, 6.03 kg ganja and 0.004 gm of smack seized in the state in three months from April 1.

SHIMLA- Himachal Pradesh, like neighbouring Punjab, is facing a deadly menace drugs and narcotics. In just three months, 274 narcotic-related cases were registered and 320 people were arrested, police records show.

The menace has attained alarming proportions and has turned into a matter of concern not just for the state government but for the courts too.

The state high court is not only pulling up government functionaries on each and every day for apparent lapses in dealing with this growing threat, but virtually rapped them on their knuckles about the steps they have to initiate to counter it.

Quoting a study by the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, a recent judgment by a bench headed by Justice Rajiv Sharma observed 40 per cent youth in the state are involved in drug abuse.

Also Read: Himachal’s Cannabis/Opium Eradication Drive: 1.89 crore cannabis plants, 1.65 crore opium plants uprooted from 1,527.05 hectare

Agreeing, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said the government has adopted zero tolerance towards narcotics. Our

Our neighbouring state (Punjab) is badly affected by drugs and in our state too its menace is a serious challenge,

he said

Whether it’s Malana (in Kullu Valley) or any remote area that is known for growing opium or cannabis, the government is currently destroying their cultivation,

he added.

Police officials said that the inaccessible valleys and lofty mountains in the western Himalayas are areas for cultivation of cannabis and opium. They are the country’s biggest drug-producing areas with a considerable quantity finding its way to Europe.

kumarsain Police Canabis Eradicaiton

An official said the lure of drugs and quick bucks also attracts foreigners to the largely unexplored areas of Himachal Pradeshwhere they have become part of unorganised drug cultivation. Some of them never return home — they simply disappear mysteriously.

Police records show that there are 50,000 acres in Kullu Valley alone where cannabis is cultivated.

Chief Secretary V.C. Pharka, who was monitoring the fortnight-long statewide campaign that ended on September 5, said cannabis crops on 19,157 bighas of government land and 6,040 bighas of private land and 76,093 poppy plants were destroyed. (One bigha is 0.4 hectare.)

Countering this, BJP legislator and former minister Ravinder Ravi said that areas in the state bordering Punjab and Haryana have become drug hubs. The drug menace has assumed alarming proportions in pilgrim centres and tourist destinations too.

In the just-concluded assembly session, he said, a stationery shop in the vicinity of a senior secondary school in Thural, some 90 km from Dharamsala town, sold ink eraser fluid worth Rs 3 lakh in just one year.

Thural is a small sub-tehsil. There are one or two small government offices. The sale of fluid bottles worth Rs 3 lakh in a year is a matter of concern,

he said.

The volume of this clandestine trade can be gauged from a government reply in the assembly that 133 kg of “charas” or cannabis, 10 kg opium, 223 grams heroin, 6.03 kg ganja and 0.004 gm of smack was seized in the state in three months from April 1.

Officials say over 60 per cent of the poppy and cannabis produce in Himachal Pradesh is smuggled out to countries like Israel, Italy, Holland and some other European countries. The remaining finds its way to Nepal or Indian states like Goa, Punjaband Delhi.

In the past five years, over 70 foreigners, mainly Britons, Israelis, Dutch, Germans, Japanese and Italians, have been arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The Magic Valley in the upper reaches of Malana, some 50 km from Kullu town, is known for cultivating “Malana Cream”, the prized hashish, a purified resinous extract of cannabis.

Easy availability of Narcotics in McLeodganj and its surrounding areas in Kangra district and Kasol in Kullu district have turned the areas into an addicts’ haven, say the police.

Also Read: Shimla drug kingpin arrested with 16 kg drugs, police seizes jewellery, 3 houses, vehicles

The crime rate under the NDPS Act is 7.7 per cent in Himachal Pradesh, compared to 2.8 per cent in the country.

OP Sharma, a former superintendent of the Narcotics Control Bureau, said

alternative farming is the only way of controlling poppy and cannabis cultivation.

Citing field surveys, he estimates over 2,500 villages dotted across inaccessible valleys and lofty mountains in Kullu, Chamba, Mandi, Shimla and Sirmaur districts are known for growing cannabis and poppy cultivation.

Also Read: Himachal Govt. objects to ‘Udta Punjab’ for showing its pharma hub ‘Barotiwala’ as drug supply source

Referring to Malana, known for the prized hashish, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said the government would provide high-quality imported rootstock of apples to the locals so that they can opt for alternative and remunerative cultivation.

In other cannabis growing areas, he said the government would promote cultivation of exotic vegetables and flowers.

Stay updated on the go with Himachal Watcher News App. Click here to download it for your android device.

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal’s senior journalist Sunil Sharma passes away at 49



Himachal's senior journlist sunil sharma dies

Shimla: A senior journalist and the State Bureau Chief of the Hindi daily Divya Himachal, Sunil Sharma, today passed away suddenly. He was 49-year-old and was at his house in Jakhu, Shimla while he died.

The media community and political leaders including the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Governor Acharya Devvrat, and Director, Information and Public Relations Anupam Kashyap have extended their condolences.

Media persons begin to pay visits to the bereaved family as soon as they received the news. The cause of sudden death has not disclosed yet officially.

The CM Jai Ram Thakur said Sunil Sharma was a committed journalist, and always maintained ethics of journalism. He said that his demise has created a void in the field of journalism.

The Chief Minister along with Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj visited the residence of Sunil Sharma at Jakhu and expressed their sympathies with the bereaved family members.  

Governor Acharya Devvrat expressed his sympathies with the grief-stricken family members.

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Misc News/Press Release

Rohit Kumar Saval joins as CM Jairam’s media adviser



Rohit Kumar Saval

Shimla: Rohit Kumar Saval, who has an extensive experience in media, today joined as Media Advisor to Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, at Shimla. Later he called on the Chief Minister and discussed issues related to media in the State.

Chief Minister said that Rohit Kumar Saval has been working for a long time with media and has a rich experience of working at State and National level. He said the role of media is very important in the dissemination of programs and policies of the state government.

His appointment as an advisor will strengthen media liaison as well as promote professionalism in the government system, he said.

Political Advisor to Chief Minister, Trilok Jamwal, OSD to Chief Minister, Mahender Kumar Dharmani, Additional Chief Secretary-cum- Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Manisha Nanda, Director, Information and Public Relations, Anupam Kashyap, were also present on the occasion.

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Misc News/Press Release

HP E-Vidhan wing gifts Galaxy Note 8, laptop, printer to all MLAs, ministers



HP E-vidhan wing gifts mlas

The government said that these gifts were given to the MLAs and ministers by the E-Vidhan wing of the HP Vidhan Sabha and will be used for official work.

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government on March 16, 2018, gifted electronic devices including a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which currently costs between 68,000 to 70,000 INR, a laptop, and a printer to all the elected members of the 13th Assembly including the council of ministers.

The average cost per MLA is estimated to be above one lakh INR. The total cost touches almost 1 crore INR. The Information and Technology Minister, Ram Lal Markanda, personally visited the Speaker Rajiv Bindal to deliver the gifts.

The news has attracted criticism from several groups, especially on social media and regional online news portals. The Bhartiya Janata Party has been opening scathing attacks on the previous Congress government over a debt of 46,000 crores INR.

Also, the state government did not take timely cognizance of the media reports about a 16-year-old poverty-stricken girl of Solan district who required lakhs of rupees to undergo a kidney transplant after she lost both of her own kidneys.

In the list of priorities, the gifts did come above the announcement of relief money to the girl.

Therefore, the reason for the criticism was quite apparent.  

It is being speculated that some of the MLAs have even sold or handed their copies of devices to subordinate staff or family members as they already had high-end smartphones.

However, the government said that these gifts were given to the MLAs and ministers by the E-Vidhan wing of the HP Vidhan Sabha and will be used for official work  during the current government tenure.

The Speaker said, the MLAs and Ministers will be given training regarding the operation of these electronic devices.

The effect of this step will be visible directly or indirectly in coming days. The government’s explanation that these electronics were gifted as part of the E-Vidhan program will be visible if all the recipient make themselves available to the public online.

Currently, the State government’s official websites are either not user-friendly or are in tatters and hardly contains latest data or information.  As we had mentioned earlier, the official website of the State government has still not updated the name of the Chief Minister.

The average response rate to e-mails is critically low for the government departments and the offices of the ministers.

Stay updated on the go with Himachal Watcher News App. Click here to download it for your android device.

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