State to crack down on drug peddlers, invoke Goonda Act

BJP leader R Ashoka and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara during a discussion on drug abuse, in the Legislative Assembly on Friday. (DH Photo)

The government will book drug peddlers under the stringent Goonda Act in a bid to crackdown on the drug menace, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara told the Legislative Assembly on Friday.

The issue of drug abuse witnessed a two-hour debate in the Assembly, with BJP leaders R Ashoka and others calling the government’s attention to a problem they described as “worse than terrorism.”

Ashoka claimed that Bengaluru was on its way to become the “hub” of drug peddling and consumption.

“We will invoke Goonda Act against drug peddlers, who are important players in this menace, and against kingpins,” Parameshwara, who also holds the Home portfolio, said.

He said he has instructed the Bengaluru police commissioner to identify foreigners who are overstaying in the city. Many foreign students, he said, stay on even after their visa gets expired. “We have already deported 1,460 foreigners. DCPs have been instructed to visit colleges, check records and deport those who are found to be overstaying.”

Parameshwara also revealed that psychotropic drugs were being manufactured near the Kempegowda International Airport and Kodigehalli in the guise of pharmaceutical companies. “Recently, customs authorities seized
Rs 500 crore worth tablets.”

A meeting will be held with representatives of the Home, Health, Education and Excise departments, he said. “I have already met senior police officials. I have warned them that I will not tolerate them closing their eyes to encourage this. If we don’t control this, Karnataka may possibly become another Punjab.”

Health and Family Welfare Minister Shivanand Patil said his department, for the first time, had started working in consultation with the Home department to book cases related to drug abuse.

Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar confronted Ashoka’s claim on drug abuse.

“Is there drug abuse in Fort High School or corporation high schools? Government schoolchildren barely get to eat anything. Where will they do drugs? This happens in so-called prestigious institutions, where there is money to spend,” Kumar said.

Ashoka said it was not MG Road, but in railway stations that kids abuse drugs.

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State to crack down on drug peddlers, invoke Goonda Act

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