HP’s pharma units, stockists under task force lens

Pharmaceutical production units, chemist shops and wholesalers across Himachal Pradesh have come under the scanner of anti-narcotics task force (ANTF), with raids conducted on 42 such units in the recent past.

The ANTF was constituted by the state police this year, which is being led by ADGP CID SP Singh along with three fields units at Shimla, Kangra and Kullu, functioning under deputy SP rank officers.

“The ANTF also functions as the narco coordination centre (NCORD) secretariat in the state, which coordinates issues related to drug trafficking, drug abuse, drug de-addiction, rehabilitation & drug law enforcement inter-alia among central & state agencies,” said director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Kundu. “The ANTF is currently monitoring the activities of around 1800 drug trafficking operators (DTOs) in the state through Register No. 29. The newly launched NIDAAN portal will help in expanding the range of monitoring of DTO networks beyond the state boundaries,” he said. The DGP said that during the last fortnight, ANTF has carried out intensive checking campaigns in the entire state with help of sniffer dogs, especially at the inter-state border areas of the state.

On a secret information received from the general public, the ANTF has also conducted joint raids along with drug inspectors who are on deputation with ANTF, on certain pharmaceutical manufacturing units, wholesalers and chemist shops. Legal actions have also been taken against the units which are found violating provisions of Drugs & Cosmetics Act.

More than 42 such units have been thoroughly inspected about 10 notices have been issued to the errant units including one case in which suspension of license has been recommended.

The ANTF unit Kullu also conducted surprise raids in Karsog area of Mandi district, wherein two chemist shops which were being run without licenses were shut down and all medicines were seized. Legal actions were also initiated against them. ANTF units also conducted raids in Shimla and Bilaspur district and action has been taken for violation of norms and poor management of record.

In furtherance of this objective set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to dispose of 75,000 kilograms contraband by August 15, the district Police Kullu have disposed of 111 kg narcotic contraband, district Police Chamba 171 kilograms narcotic contraband recently.

So far during this year, the state police have disposed of more than 760 kg narcotic contraband in the state, valued at more than ₹15 crore, said the DGP. He said state Police is implementing a ‘robust trial management’ mechanism, under which deposition by police officials and independent witnesses in the courts is being reviewed every week to ensure speedy trials in ND&PS cases. Under this mechanism, 7000 police officials and around 1600 private witnesses have deposed before the courts since March, 2021 which has resulted in speedy conviction of accused under more than 100 ND&PS Act cases.

Financial investigation under ND&PS Act is also being carried out in major drug trafficking cases by the HP Police and information in this regard has been shared with the Enforcement Directorate for investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. In the last 2 years, seizing/freezing orders have been issued in 22 cases under ND&PS Act amounting to more than ₹12.5 crore.

ANTF units are also visiting schools, colleges and carrying out awareness sessions on ill-effects of drug abuse and its impact on families and society as a whole. The task force is also carrying out campaign for awareness regarding ‘Drug Free Himachal App’.

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