Groundwork for detaining 604 drug peddlers in Kerala begins

The detention order has to be issued by the Home Secretary after verifying supporting documents filed by law enforcement agencies. 

Published: 10th March 2023 06:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2023 06:31 AM   |  A+A-

Drugs, Narcotics

Image used for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to take the battle to the drug peddlers, law enforcement agencies have begun the groundwork for detaining as many as 604 people, who have been found as habitual offenders in drug cases, for two years under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (PITNDPS).

The information accessed by TNIE revealed that the police have submitted 282 proposals before the state government, while 262 proposals are being processed in the department. The  Excise department has so far filed six proposals for detention, while 62 are under processing.

The detention order has to be issued by the Home Secretary after verifying supporting documents filed by law enforcement agencies. A special board comprising two Kerala High Court judges has already been formed to review the cases pertaining to detention.

Law and Order ADGP M R Ajith Kumar said the increase in the number of detention proposals showed the resolve of the department in fighting the drug menace. “We will use all the legally available options against the drug peddlers,” he added.

Though the provision to detain habitual offenders has been in existence since 1988, the law enforcement agencies in the state had shied away from using it fearing that their action might be dubbed as a violation of human rights.

However, after the spurt in narcotic cases, the state government 2022 decided to proactively invoke the PITNDPS act to deal with the threat posed by the drug suppliers.  In December last week, the Home Department issued detention warrants against two people under the PITNDPS Act, paving way for the wide use of the stringent law. Till February 28 this year, the police have so far detained 5 people under PITNDPS Act.

The PITNDPS Act allows the “detention of persons concerned in any manner  with illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for one or two year(s) with a view to preventing them from engaging in such harmful and prejudicial  activities.”

According to the information provided by the office of ADGP Law and Order, most detention proposals were filed by Thrissur district (35),  followed by Malappuram (34). Kollam and Ernakulam had filed 24 proposals each, while Kozhikode filed 22 proposals.

Meanwhile, in the number of detention proposals under  preparation, Thrissur leads the table (68), while Kasaragod is just behind (62).

Surprisingly, Kochi city, which regularly witnesses drug cases, has only filed three  proposals, while only seven proposals are under preparation. Ernakulam rural police district, which has so far seen three detentions, has filed 21 proposals, while it  has no proposals under preparation.

The detention order has to be issued by the Home Secretary after  verifying supporting documents filed by agencies


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