Now, Assam & Mizoram spar over drug menace

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AIZAWL: A day after the Himanta Biswa Sarma government ordered that all vehicles entering Assam from Mizoram will be checked for drugs, Mizoram hit back on Friday by alleging that illegal pharmaceutical medicines, as well as heroin that were being “smuggled in” from the bigger northeastern state, were affecting the Mizo youths.
On Thursday, Assam home commissioner MS Manivannan had issued an order saying all vehicles from Mizoram would be thoroughly checked at the entry points on Assam-Mizoram border and that these vehicles would be released only after due satisfaction of an officer not below the rank of a sub-inspector of Assam Police to ensure that no drugs were smuggled into Assam.
On Friday, Mizoram’s commissioner of excise and narcotics department Ngurchungnunga Sailo retaliated by blaming Assam for the drug menace. “Bagha and Lailapur villages in Cachar district on the Assam-Mizoram border are safe haven for drug peddlers and addicts,” Sailo said. He alleged that heroin packs bearing a popular name, ‘Bagha pack’, were being smuggled into Mizoram from the Cachar and widely used by Mizo youths.
The commissioner said apart from heroin, illegal pharmaceutical medicines were also being smuggled into Mizoram from Assam. He pointed out that of the 1,680 drug-related deaths in Mizoram since 1984 till date, 1,161 deaths were due to abuse of clinical drugs — spasmo proxyvon/parvon spas — which is 69.11% of the total drug-related deaths.
He alleged that all the spasmo proxyvon/parvon spas (Dextroproproxyphene HCL) smuggled into Mizoram came from Assam since 1990 when the first four drug-related deaths due to prominent painkillers were identified. Besides the 1,161 deaths in Mizoram due to spasmo prxyvon/parvon spas abuse, another 213 people have died due to heroin and 277 due to abuse of other pharmaceutical drugs, he said. Mizoram’s information and public relations minister Lalruatkima dismissed a media report quoting senior Assam officials that state ministers were involved in the drug and narcotics trade. “If any minister is found to be involved in such activities, the opposition and the people would have crucified him,” Lalruatkima said.
A home department official said the drug menace in Mizoram had been a serious headache for the state government.


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