Drug addiction surges as authorities fail to curb drug trafficking

Published On: May 29, 2024 09:00 AM NPT By: Rekha Bhusal

BHAIRAHAWA, May 29:  Drug addiction is on the rise as authorities fail to control drug trafficking. On May 10, 2023, police arrested Kamal BK of Turmakhan Rural Municipality-8, Achham with drugs. The investigation has revealed that BK, who was operating Baidwar Pharmacy in Kalikanagar, Butwal, was selling narcotics from the pharmacy without a doctor's prescription.

The police arrested BK after it was found that various medicines that require a doctor’s prescription were mixed and sold as narcotic drugs to youths.

Police also arrested three individuals who sold the narcotic drugs after buying it from the pharmacy. The arrested individuals have been identified as Om Prakash Gaire of  Waling Municipality-13, Syangja , Kiran Darji of Devdaha-7 and Manish BK of Butwal-2.

Police have seized a huge amount of narcotic drugs from BK’s pharmacy. BK was found to be illegally importing medicines from the Indian market. It is strictly prohibited to sell such medicines in Nepal without a doctor’s prescription and to mix them as narcotic drugs.

Bijaya Gupta and his wife Manju Gupta of Siddharthanagar Municipality-1, Belhiya were taken into custody from their house with a large quantity of drugs on May 13. Police have seized 1 kg 750 grams hashish, IPPL 325 ampoule, Diazepam 141 ampoule, Spasmo 487 capsule, Nitravet 34 tablet, Corex, Phenergan 230 ampoule from Gupta’s house located near Belhiya in Bhairahawa.

Police raided their house on Monday based on information that the couple smuggled drugs from the Indian market and sold them from their home. Manohar Prasad Bhatta, information officer of the District Police Office, Rupandeh, said that the couple stored drugs in their house godown and sold them.

Last month, Akhilesh Yadav, 32, and a 15 year old minor of Ramawapur, Mayadevi Rural Municipality, were arrested with brown sugar (heroin). Similarly, in mid-March, three individuals of Ramnagar in Rupandehi were caught with brown sugar.

A total of 75 grams 410 milligrams of brown sugar were seized from Anarjit Yadav, 19, Sahadev Harijan, 29, and Aashish Dhobi. The local residents had informed the police that they are frustrated by the gang who imported drugs from the Indian market and sold them further impelling youths into addiction.

The local police from Rohini managed to apprehend two more local youths with brown sugar. In mid-July, Pratik Thapa, Sunil Tharu, Jit Bahadur Darlami and Dinesh Kumar were found in possession of brown sugar from Rupandehi.  Police seized 32 packets of brown sugar from them, which were intended to be sold to the local youth and women.

These are just some representative incidents of drug trafficking, smuggling and addiction. In the last 10 months, 73 cases related to drugs  have been registered in Rupandehi.

According to DSP Manohar Prasad Bhatta, information officer of the District Police Office, Rupandehi, a total of 112 individuals have been arrested in drug-related cases from mid-July to mid-April of the current fiscal year. Individuals arrested range from minors of 14-15 years to adults as old as 50 years. In the previous year 2022-23,  a total of 136 people were apprehended in 78 drug-related cases. 

Compared to the previous year, the number of drug-related cases has decreased slightly this year. However, there has not been a significant improvement in controlling drug trafficking and addiction.

Sources claim that when the police tighten the checks at the main and subsidiary checkpoints, the smugglers cross the border with drugs from the farms at night. But DSP Bhatta claims that drug-related incidents are very less in Rupandehi than elsewhere.

According to drug users, the bordering Indian market, Sunauli, is considered as a crucial market for smugglers and drug addicts. Consequently, it is relatively easy to purchase narcotic drugs in pharmacies in Sunauli and the grocery stores situated along its inner streets as well.

Various drugs such as brown sugar, Spasmo, Nitrosun, Tidigesic Phenergan, Phensedyl, Diazepam, Nufein, and Lupigesic are sold at affordable prices. 

Narcotic drugs and brown sugar which can be easily purchased in the Indian market are imported into Nepal through border checkpoints and open areas. Similarly, large quantities of marijuana and hashish are exported into the Indian market from Nepal as well.

For several years, drug traffickers have been luring unemployed youth, and migrant laborers into the trade of illicit drugs. A local resident said that when the Nepal Police continuously started to apprehend the traffickers, Indian suppliers used their agents to smuggle drugs across the border. They claim that some agents have been smuggling drugs between Nepal-India since the past through settings.  

The drug traffickers mainly target young students attending schools and colleges to sell drugs. Although there are strict laws related to drug trafficking, control measures have not been effective. There are instances where police arrested petty traffickers, but failed to arrest the leaders and businessmen involved in trafficking.

There was also an incident in which the arrested persons evaded security units and were caught while on the run in Butwal, Palpa, and Nawalparasi. It seems that Indian security personnel are not playing their role to control the buying and selling of drugs openly around the areas of Sunauli. 

Stakeholders said that due to the easy supply of drugs and lack of public awareness, the cases of drug addiction have not decreased. Raj Kumar Gupta, founder and chairman of the Rotary Club of Bhairahawa, said that the awareness programs against drugs need to be carried out and measures should be taken against the easy availability of drugs. Gupta emphasized that there should be strong cooperation between the security forces of the two countries in the border areas to control the smuggling of drugs.

He said that drug addiction and trafficking not only affect an individual or a family, but the whole society and the nation. So, the government, political parties and private sector should cooperate for the prevention and control of drug smuggling. 

“It is necessary to make everyone aware in the society about the impacts of addiction starting from the ward level. Awareness program should be conducted in school for students and parents,” Gupta said.  

Gupta said that the sole efforts of police cannot control drug addiction. Therefore, he emphasized the need for collaboration with local government, police, civil society, youth organizations and other social groups to control drug smuggling.

DSP Bhatta said that the police in Rupandehi are organizing interactive programs with students, parents, and stakeholders in schools and colleges to discuss the impacts of drug addiction and to combat drug abuse.

Bhatta said that they have cooperated with the community to control drug smuggling and prevent addiction and emphasized that the general public and parents should be attentive about this. 




Leave A Comment