AIZAWL: In a worrying trend, Mizoram has witnessed a significant uptick in drug-related deaths in 2023. As of August, the state has reported 47 fatalities due to drug abuse since the beginning of the year. This number exceeds last year’s count by four. All 47 victims, including eight women, lost their lives to heroin overdose, as per the Mizoram Excise and Narcotics Department.
On August 17, in a successful attempt to curb the drug menace in state, Mizoram police had arrested four individuals from neighboring states of Tripura and Assam in two distinct operations in 48 hours.
In one of the operations, the police detain two individuals from Tripura at Aizawl’s bustling Dawrpui new market. The duo was arrested for possession of a significant quantity of methamphetamine tablets, weighing approximately 2.330 kg. The successful operation was spearheaded by the Aizawl District Special Branch (DSB).
Just two days prior, in the Serchhip district, a vigilant police team apprehended two individuals from Assam following a tip-off about suspicious activity. Both hailing from Assam’s Karimganj district, the duo was in possession of 548.15 grams of heroin and an alarming 5.32 kg of methamphetamine tablets. Ingeniously, the heroin was concealed within 39 soap cases. Both sets of arrests led to charges under sections of the Narcotics Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
In February 2023, Mizoram Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati, while highlighting the menace of drug trafficking and abuse in the state had said that the issue “has been the subject of all-out efforts by the state Excise and Narcotics department to be controlled.”
During his address to the budget session of the state assembly, Kambhampati had informed that 4,348 individuals had been arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Act, 2019, and the Mizoram Excise Act, 1973 during the current financial year up to December 2022.
The same period also saw the registration of 4,755 cases related to drugs, as informed by him.