Uttar Pradesh sets up Anti-Narcotics Task Force | Lucknow News – Times of India

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UP CM Yogi Adityanath reviewed the state’s anti-drug programme and directed officials to put up posters of those involved in the drug trade in prominent public places. (File image)

LUCKNOW: To crack down on sale of psychotropic substances and expedite cases registered under the Narcotics Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, a special Anti-Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) was set up by Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday. In the first phase, narcotics stations will be established in Barabanki and Ghazipur – two UP districts known to be on the map of narco cultivation and trade.
Meanwhile, chief minister Yogi Adityanath also reviewed the state’s anti-drug programme and directed officials to put up posters of those involved in the drug trade in prominent public places. The CM said that the government will seize properties of those found to be involved in the illegal drugs trade, something, he said, should be viewed as a crime against the nation, instead of an ordinary crime.
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) in December 2021 had instructed the states to form dedicated Anti-Narcotics Task Forces (ANTF) under the directors general of police to fight the menace of drugs and realise the dream of a ‘drug-free India’.
Additional director-general of police, law and order, Prashant Kumar said that ANTF is in the police headquarters and headed by a DIG-rank officer. Explaining the structure of the force, Kumar, who is also the supervisory officer of the ANTF, told TOI that it has been decentralised into three zones in the state (west, central and east), all of which will be headed by a DSP-rank officer each while a DIG-rank officer will head the force at the police headquarters.
The DIG would be supported by two SP-rank officers – SP (operations) and SP (headquarters). He said that in the first phase two police stations, known as narcotic police stations, will also be set up in Ghazipur and Barabanki. Kumar further said that officers from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) will also be called to work in the force on deputation.
Elaborating the mandate of the force, Kumar said that its first task is to check and curb the supply chain of drugs in the state and establish coordination with agencies to reduce demand of drugs in the state. “Consistent efforts would also be taken along with other nodal agencies to make people aware of drug abuses,” said the ADG.
The force will be responsible for spreading ‘treatment and rehabilitation for drug addiction and preventive education and awareness generation programme’ being run by the ministry of social justice and empowerment. The force will establish coordination with the ministry of health and family welfare for running the de-addiction programme, said the ADG.
The officer added that ANTF will work in coordination with Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD) working under the director-general, NCB, and has been constituted in order to have effective coordination among all the drug law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders and to provide a common platform for discussions on drug trafficking-related issues.
In 2020, the state government, through the social welfare department, had set up committees under the national action plan for reduction in use of drugs or ‘nashamukt abhiyan’ in 33 districts. These were part of a large programme undertaken by the Centre. In phase two, launched recently, the Centre identified 100 more districts for implementation of the programme, of which seven are located in UP.
Sources in the social welfare department said that the focus of the government is in western UP which, due to its proximity to Delhi, Haryana and Punjab and with a sudden mushrooming of hostels, colleges, etc, has become a fertile ground for substance abuse.


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