BENGALURU: The spread of the drug mafia in Bengaluru, specially in schools and colleges, which is ruining the lives of youths, was the hot topic of discussion in the Legislative Assembly on Friday with members, cutting across party lines, advocating total war against the menace. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who is also the Home Minister, assured effective action and advocated the need for more stringent laws including death sentence for drug peddlers.
The minister said the anti-narcotics wing of the police department will be strengthened while vigil around schools and colleges and also pubs and bars will be intensified. Drug peddlers will be booked under the Anti-Goonda Act. He also advocated more stringent laws to curb the drug mafia saying, “Many countries have far more stringent laws, with death sentence for drug peddlers. It is not possible to bring such a law in the state as it has to be enacted at the national level by the Union government. The Centre should take the initiative to bring such a law in consultation with state governments.”
“We will not allow Karnataka to go the Punjab way. We will not allow drug mafia to spread its tentacles in the state. There will be no compromise in this regard. I have already held a meeting with senior police officers and warned them of action if any lapses are detected in their jurisdiction in curbing the drug menace,” Parameshwara asserted.
Earlier, raising the issue, R Ashoka of BJP expressed concern over the easy availability of narcotic substances like ganja and cocaine near prestigious schools and colleges in the city and how the drug mafia has spread its tentacles in the city with the youth falling victims to it. BJP members V Somanna, Suresh Kumar, Ashwath Narayan, K Purnima and N A Haris of Congress too voiced their concern and made a united plea for a war against the drug mafia.
Aravind Limbavali said, “Ganja is being grown in Bannerghatta and in many villages in Kolar district,” and demanded action to stop it.Intervening in the debate, Speaker Ramesh Kumar asked why the drug menace is reported mostly from prestigious schools and colleges where children from rich families study. Why it is not so in institutions where the students are predominantly from poor families.
Taking a dig at the mad race to make money by whatever means and the craze to pay huge amounts to enrol their children into so-called prestigious schools and colleges, Ramesh Kumar expressed his displeasure over the failure of rich parents i inculcating right values among their children. Haris of Congress raised the issue of involvement of students from some other countries in sale and distribution of narcotic substances in the city. Many of them are over staying in the city even after expiry of their visas.
Haris wanted intense vigil on the acivities of students from some of these countries and deportation of those overstaying here.
Deputy Chief Minister Parameshwara informed the Assembly that he had already initiated action to deport 1460 foreign nationals when he was Home Minister in the previous Siddaramaiah government.
MLA narrates tale of his own sonBJP MLA Kalakappa Bandi stirred the emotions of the members as he narrated the harrowing tale of his own son who fell victim to the drug menace and the struggle the family faced to free him from the addiction.
He advocated the need for setting up special squads, imparting special training for police personnel and also for lawyers who argue cases against the drug mafia. There are about 5-6 lakh drug addicts in the state and narcotics worth crores of rupees come to state every day. Narcotics is being easily supplied through online syndicates, he said and made a strong plea for coordinated action with active cooperation of heads of educational institutions to fight this menace.