Thursday, July 18, 2019 | ePaper

Lack of sincerity to turn the drug war into farce

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THE death toll in the countrywide Anti-drug Drive over the last 13 months has crossed 400, with four more reported extra-judicial killings in Cox's Bazar and Cumilla on Sunday. With no end of the drug menace in sight, the government has apparently chosen the short-cut way, although inhumane and unconstitutional, to get rid of the drug smuggling and addiction, but no statistics is available about the success of fending off availability of drugs. Escape from the grip of drug is too difficult for the country if a number of law enforcers along with political leaders often play dual-role and stay behind the illicit business. There's nothing to hide that the Ministry concerned has miserably failed to stop drug business despite killing several hundred petty peddlers. The kingpins are still in large under the political shield.
News media reported that with the latest casualties, the number of deaths in the on-going nationwide Anti-drug Drive since May 15, 2018 now stands at 403. Department of Narcotics Control officials said that about 1.19 lakh cases were filed against about 1.50 lakh people while over 5.50 crore pieces of Yaba, among others, were seized nationwide by different law enforcement agencies between May 2018 and April 30, 2019. Meanwhile, the government took numerous initiatives, including restricting mobile banking services in Cox's Bazar, forming additional units of the Rapid Action Battalion and launching money-laundering investigations against suspected drug dealers. Despite these initiatives, the supply of the illicit drugs, especially Yaba pills from Myanmar, continued to come in and be available to their users. Where are the loopholes?
Police suggested for erecting barbed wire fences along the 10 kilometres of Bangladesh-Myanmar border to effectively curb the smuggling of Yaba, while rights activists since the very beginning advocated for massive awareness programmes against drug use and continued consultation with Myanmar authorities to this end. We think, these are not enough to deal with the issue.
First of all it needs a national consensus along with utmost sincerity and affection for motherland to fight drug.  Otherwise, 'war against drug' will turn into a big farce in the course of time.

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