New Delhi: The NCB has been handed over 25 “big” drugs cases by various state governments so that a “comprehensive” investigation against the cartels can be conducted and the entire network can be unearthed, officials said on Thursday.

The federal anti-narcotics agency has deputed a dedicated group of officers to supervise investigation in these cases, having inter-state or international links, apprehend the accused, file chargesheets and secure conviction, they said.

States like Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and a few others, have “identified big drugs cases and handed them over to the Narcotics Control Bureau” even as an equal number of such cases are in the pipeline and discussions between the agency authorities and few other state governments are on.

The move to hand over large unsolved drugs cases to the central agency finds its origin in a letter written to top state government authorities by NCB director general (DG) Satya Narayan Pradhan in November last year, stating that states should consider sending cases, having inter-state or international ramifications, to it in order to take the investigation to a logical conclusion.

The letter was written after Union Home Minister Amit Shah had reviewed the national drug scenario at a high-level meeting a little earlier, and stressed that there was a “need for central and state narcotics crimes investigation agencies to work in very close partnership and coordination”.

DG Pradhan told PTI that as a follow up to his communication, the agency has been handed over 25 such cases till now by the states, and the agency has begun working on them.

“We are in continuous talks with various state governments and soon we expect to get as many as 25 more such big cases. The aim is to unearth the pan-India nexus and disrupt the narcotics trafficking chain with the help of the state authorities who initially worked on the case,” Pradhan said.

This letter was sent with an aim and request that the larger organised crime and terror syndicates linked to narcotics are busted effectively saving not only the country’s future generations from drugs addiction but also ensuring national security in the entire process, he added.

Pradhan’s letter had mentioned that “in many cases the ring leaders and financiers, especially those with multi-state operations and presence in drug trafficking, evaded the clutches of law, posing a serious challenge for all drug law enforcement agencies in India, including the state police.”

“To address the above issues, in-depth investigation and inter-agency coordination are the need of the hour to break the silos in the fight against the drug menace in India,” Pradhan had written.

The NCB head also cited the discussions of the national meet of state and central police chiefs where Shah had “expressed his desire that every state should identify few such cases (preferably 3-5) having inter-state/international ramifications and carry the investigation to logical conclusion, especially in terms of identifying and unearthing the entire network.”

“This would be in the interest of the state as well as the country as a whole,” the DG wrote.

Officials in the agency said the officers supervising these cases have been asked to work on the fund trail of the drugs traffickers and even undertake seizure, freezing and forfeiture of assets of the accused, a power provided to the agency sleuths under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) but used rarely till now.

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