State

HC seeks action plan to address drug abuse

Shillong, Feb 25: The High Court of Meghalaya has asked the government to file an affidavit on the action plan to address the issue of drug abuse in the state.

While taking up a pending PIL, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee said, “Let the matter appear three weeks for a comprehensive course of action to be mapped out by the state and the rudiments thereof indicated to the court by way of an affidavit”.

The PIL was  by the former chairperson of the Meghalaya State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) M Kharkongor.

According to Amicus Curiae SP Mahanta, the drug menace in the state has reached an alarming level and hence sought immediate steps.

He said a generation or more may be lost to addiction if action is not taken.

Mahanta referred to the plight of young girls in and around Shillong and the everyday discovery of signs of drug use from all over the place, including around the golf course, Polo.

The bench said there has to be a serious attempt by the state government to control the entry of drugs and to keep a vigil.

Mahanta also pointed out reports of rampant drug use in Laban and other areas

“Whether it is by simultaneously organising awareness drives and taking exemplary measures against those peddling drugs on the streets, the state machinery has to act against the obvious kingpins and not concentrate only on the mules”, the court said.

“The state has to use the machinery to ascertain the source of drugs and the routes that the peddlers take so that ameliorative steps taken now can save the State the cost of undertaking a massive repair work upon the affliction becoming more wlidespread,” the court said.

On the order issued on December 10, the bench said it is also imperative that there should be a well-equipped de-addiction centre, or several centres, to particularly cater to younger girls who may be driven towards destitution upon being addicted to drugs.

The bench said the court may not issue specific directions and the entire object of the exercise is to make the state aware that the menace requires immediate and urgent attention.

“Let the matter appear three weeks hence for a comprehensive course of action to be mapped out by the State and the rudiments thereof indicated to the Court by way of an affidavit,” it said

The next hearing is on March 23.

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