Shillong: In the fight against drug menace in Meghalaya, social welfare minister Paul Lyngdoh informed that the state government will rope in dorbar shnongs or traditional heads to help the government in the Drug Reduction Elimination and Action Mission (DREAM).
Following a series of meetings, the announcement was made on Tuesday. Apart from traditional heads, various stakeholders were part of the meeting.
“Today we’re going to the level of the Dorbar shnongs starting with West Shillong constituency, which contains a large number of hotspots for drug trafficking and also many of the areas have been repeatedly complaining about the presence of these traffickers of illicit drugs,” said Lyngdoh.
The minister said that valuable inputs were received including problems being faced by the dorbars while reporting or while trying to assist the police in detaining offenders.
A major decision that was taken was on how the government can get the dorbar on board and engage with them in a sustainable manner. “That is already part of the DREAM mission statement, which speaks about community engagement,” mentioned Lyngdoh.
Another decision was to form a state level committee to be headed by the Chief Minister. The social welfare minister said that these suggestions would be presented to the CM so that the state level committee can meet immediately.
It was also decided to conduct frequent meetings. Issues such as witnesses having to turn up in court several times, year after year, which becomes a big deterrent for the participation of the community, will now fall under the ambit of the social welfare and police department.
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Amendments and new rules under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic (PIT) Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act (NDP) will made to facilitate community participation in the fight against drug menace.
As far the hotspots of drug users are concerned, the police department has identified 7 districts in Meghalaya.
Lyngdoh said that the police during the meeting informed that the highest number of drug cases is from East Khasi Hills District, with a total of 88 cases.
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