KATHMANDU, July 29: Statistics prepared by the State 5 Police Office show a high incidence of drug abuse in Province 5 in the past three fiscal years.
According to DYSP Nawaraj Pokharel, Spokesperson for the State 5, Police team and the local clubs at the border points are trying to the best of their ability to minimize the number of drug abuse cases in the State.
It shows that the number of drug abusers in State 5 was 657 in the fiscal year 2016-17, which decreased to 627 in the fiscal year 2017-18. Likewise, the State Police Office recorded 826 cases in 2018-19.
Similarly, the number of drug abuse cases in Rupandehi, as recorded by the State 5 Police Office, was 409 in the fiscal year 2016-17, 325 in the fiscal year 2017-18 and 371 in the fiscal year 2018-19.
Pokharel added that the Sunauli-border and Belaiya-border linking Rupandehi to Nepalgunj and India respectively were the major borders from where drugs were easily smuggled into the province. This is one of the reasons behind the highest incidence of drug abuse in Rupandehi, DYSP Pokharel said.
"Another reason for the high incidence of drug abuse in Rupandehi is that it has higher population in comparison with other districts in the State, which has contributed to the number of drug abusers" he added.
Marijuana is the most smuggled drug from Nepal to India while Brown Sugar and Diazepam tablets are the most smuggled drugs from India to Nepal , Pokharel said.
The number of drug abusers in Rupandehi district decreased to 325 in the fiscal year 2017-18 from 409 in the fiscal year 2016-17. DYSP Pokharel said the strict checking carried out by police and a team of civil servant at the transit points resulted in the decrease in the number of drug abusers. “Due to the effectiveness of the Police checking at the transit points, drug smugglers faced difficulty smuggling drugs into the province. As a consequence, the number of drug abusers decreased,” said Pokharel. However, the number increased to 371 in the fiscal year 2018-19 from 325 in the fiscal year 2017-18.
In collaboration with mother groups and local social clubs, police have launched a campaign against drug abuse at the border areas in a bid to curb crimes related to drugs in the province.
As part of the campaign, the police administration coordinated with concerned stakeholders to reach out to drugs abusers to help them give up their habit, destroy marijuana and opium fields and educate farmers about adverse impacts of drugs on human health and society.
Police Inspector Bir Bahadur Thapa, who was Chief of Bureau of Drug Abuse Control at Rupandehi a year back, said that there are 34 medical shops in the Indian region adjoining Nepal that sells drugs. According to him, people from different districts get involved in drug smuggling. So far, police have arrested drug smugglers from 42 districts active at the transit points, informed Thapa.