Govt notifies drug reduction policy; advisory board to monitor preventive detention of offenders

Shillong, June 12: The government has approved and notified the draft policy christened the Drug Reduction Elimination and Action Mission (DREAM).

The government also constituted the Advisory Board for implementation of the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (PITNDPS), 1988.


Social welfare minister Paul Lyngdoh chaired a meeting in this regard on Monday.

“We are happy to announce here that the draft policy has been approved and notified under this DREAM project, which calls for a drug free Meghalaya,” Paul told reporters on Monday.

“Under this mission, a Mission Director and his team will assist the government in coordinating the efforts of various departments which are interlinked to this issue and also a total sanction of Rs 5 crore has been set aside for undertaking publicity campaigns and increasing awareness programmes, these all will come under this mission,” he said.

Paul said in absence of the Advisory Board, the state has not been able to invoke the provisions of the PITNDPS, 1988.

“A retired High Court Judge S Pandey, who is the chairman of the State Consumers’ Council, has consented in writing to be the chairman of the Advisory Board. Once the chairman of the Advisory Board agrees to take over the assignment that clears the pathway for us to implement this very important Act,” he said.

Under the Act, persons with known antecedents of being drug traffickers or being indulged in narcotic trade – big, medium or small – can be booked and they will undergo preventive detention for an initial period of 3 months which can be extended up to a year.

“There have always been complaints that the traffickers managed to obtain bail very easily but once this is invoked…these known traffickers will now be booked under this Act to facilitate their being detained under this Act and not be able to secure bail for 3 months,” Paul added.

If the traffickers feel that they have been unjustly detained, they can appeal to the Advisory Board in writing as to why they should not be detained and why they should not be released, Paul said.

The meeting also stressed the need to strengthen the narcotic cell which consists of just 3 police officials. “We have decided that this will be increased and once the number of personnel is increased to at least cover all districts then we will be in a better position to contain and control this menace”, he added.

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