Dhaka, Bangladesh
Anti-drug campaign to continue until situation sustainable

Anti-drug campaign to continue until situation sustainable

News Desk Security Services Division Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, M Farid Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury on Saturday said that drugs are being smuggled into Bangladesh from neighboring countries. He said that the anti-drug crackdown will continue until the situation is manageable. He made the remarks during a district administration discussion session at the Chattogram Circuit House. More than 200 people were allegedly killed in 'shootouts' since security forces launched an anti-drug campaign in May. Several rights organisations claim security forces are using excessive force in the raids. They have also expressed their concern over the deaths and demanded an end to extrajudicial killings in the name of a war on drugs. The secretary shared several plans at the meeting with the Deputy Commissioner of Chattogram, and officials from the Directorate of Immigration and Passports, prison officials, the fire service and officials from the Department of Drug Control. "The campaign will continue until the situation is at a sustainable level. We have ordered joint operations as well," Farid Uddin said in response to questions from the media. It will be an all-out operation, as the prime minister has said, he continued. The campaign will crack down harder on popular yaba trafficking routes in Cox's Bazar, he added. He also answered a question from the media regarding drug trafficking allegations against the ruling party's Cox's Bazar MP. "There have been questions as to why we are not going after the godfathers. We want to move in that direction. No one will be spared if they are found guilty. But nothing can be done if they are not directly connected." "There are some problems with the 1990 drugs law. There was no law to act against the godfathers. There was no yaba. We have introduced a new law including these elements. Sections of it give the highest punishments to godfathers. It will be presented in the cabinet meeting next week." The secretary also spoke of various steps to increase the surveillance at Myanmar border area. He also promised to appoint more people in the Department of Narcotics Control to make it more effective. The secretary said that Bangladesh's prisons are mostly filled by drug suspects. "At least 90,000 people are behind bars in Bangladesh, over our capacity of 36,600 people. Among those, 43 percent people are involved with or linked to drug-related crimes. The amount is near 36,000." There are currently 8 million drug addicts in Bangladesh, Farid Uddin said. The government will set up 200 drug rehabilitation centres to help them escape their addiction, he said. (Inputs taken from agencies)

Share |