A report by the Meghalaya High Court has suggested that illicit drugs were openly being sold in Shillong, as the peddlers connive with the state police to keep the business thriving. It also stated that students of prominent schools and colleges in the city were involved in the trade, some as traffickers and other consumers.
The court had taken up the case based on a PIL filed by chairperson of Meghalaya State Commission for Protection of Child Right Meena Kharkongor. Some of the schoolchildren, as young as 11 or 12, get involved in the trade despite knowing the antecedents, said the report, which has not been made public, but a copy of which was available with PTI.
"Police are not taking any action at all and they are in connivance hand-in-hand with the peddlers," it asserted. The narcotics are openly procured from Kalain area in Assam's Silchar district, and sold in around 30 places in the city, including high-security areas near the gates of the Assam Rifles, and police beat house beside the city's police bazaar area, the court said in the report.
"The places where drugs are easily available usually go unchecked, with the peddlers moving at liberty," it said. The high court has also sought improved coordination among the opioid substitution centres, narcotic cell of police, customs and the intelligence agencies to curb the growing menace. It directed the state government to set up separate jails for drug users to prevent them from mingling and influencing other inmates into becoming addicts.
According to sources in the government, Additional Senior Government Advocate S Sengupta has forwarded the report of the high court to the administration. They also said the court has directed the state government to submit documents, detailing the ways adopted to stop the sale of illicit drugs in the state.
(With inputs from agencies.)