• Sunday, April 14, 2024


Why is Gujarat becoming gateway of drugs?: Cong on 52kg cocaine seizure near Mundra Port

Cong questions silence of PM, Home Minister on drugs haul from Gujarat ports

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat has become the “gateway of drugs” to the country under his watch, the Congress alleged Friday, questioning the “silence” of the PM and Home Minister Amit Shah and demanding answers from agencies tasked to control narcotics smuggling.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told reporters there has been a series of recoveries of drug consignments starting from July, 2017 right up to this week from several ports including Mundra and Pupavav in the state.

Just on Thursday, 52 kilograms of cocaine, worth Rs 500 crore, was recovered from Mundra Port that had come from Iran, he alleged.

When under “pressure from the Congress Party”, the Mundra port had announced they will not handle cargos from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, then how the latest consignment of cocaine was recovered from there, he asked.

“The Congress Party has questioned the government over the last eight months on why all these recoveries are taking place in Gujarat alone? Why is Gujarat becoming the gateway of drugs to India,” he asked.

Khera said the Congress had to question the government on the post of Narcotics Control Bureau head lying vacant for 18 months, before the appointment was made under “pressure” from the opposition party.

He alleged Gujarat has become a “gateway of drugs” to the country under the watch of PM Modi and Home Minister Shah. “You have the prime minister from Gujarat. You have the home minister from Gujarat. Why are they silent?”

“This is a prime minister who talks more and does less. On this particular issue, (he has said) not a word. Why this silence?”

The Congress leader said drugs cannot be traded just at a retail level and this trade is always a part of larger global syndicates which enjoy active political patronage in whichever country they operate

“We demand answers from the government on what is your blueprint? What is your roadmap to burst this syndicate and who is the El Chapo or Pablo Escobar of this drug syndicate in this country?

“These are important critical questions because as I said, we are dealing with the future of our next generation, they are destroying it. We owe it to them, if not to ourselves to give them a drug-free future,” he said.

Under this government, Khera alleged, the NCB, Enforcement Directorate, CBI and other agencies have been reduced to dealing with “retail politics” and are being “misused” by the ruling dispensation against political opponents.

Instead of “forcing” these agencies to deal into “retail politics”, the government should allow them to focus more on recovering the wholesale drug consignments that are coming, he said

He said Congress MP Digvijaya Singh had questioned the government in parliament on these recoveries and Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai had informed on October 6, 2021 that the NIA has been handed over these cases.

“What are the findings of the NIA?” Khera asked, saying it was a critical question and not just because the opposition is asking it. “We owe it to our future generations.”

He also referred to a major smuggling of drugs that allegedly happened in June, 2021 and “did not get caught”. He said it involved consignments of 25 tonnes and cost around Rs 1,75,000 crore.

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