India in a fix to cover up evidence of its drug trafficking network in Afghanistan

Analysts believe it required a paradigm shift for the world to deal with India


APP October 22, 2021
Afghan men gather raw opium on a poppy field on the outskirts of Jalalabad in this April 28, 2015 file photo. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD:

The sudden exit of the United States and its allies forces from Afghanistan has caught the Indian drug trafficking network in a highly compromising situation as New Delhi is currently trying to destroy evidence of its links to drug money.

Ignoring its disastrous impacts on Indian society and pouring of illicit money in the national kitty, India indulged in the drug trade to satisfy its greed for money.

According to an estimate, India’s illegal drug business has swelled to Rs300 billion and the seizure made roughly around 10 per cent of the trade.

The exponential increase in the size of Indian domestic drug consumption owing to cheap and uninterrupted supply can be judged by a 2019 report by the Indian union ministry of social justice and empowerment pegs opioid use in Indian at 2.6% of total drug use, thrice the global average of 0.7% the veins and windpipes of an estimated 57.8 million users worldwide.

Also read: Modi under fire as heroin worth $3b recovered from friend’s port

After the Taliban ouster in 2001, poppy cultivation in Afghanistan jumped to 3,400 tonnes in just a period of two years from 180 tonnes because the Taliban had banned opium cultivation.

According to the UNODC, by 2003 the Afghan drugs were raking in $2.3 billion from growing poppies to trafficking its derivatives. Even amidst the exit of international forces from Afghanistan, the poppy production had reached astronomical levels of around 9,000 tonnes.

The drug mafia is rescuing this bountiful crop of 2020-21 from the Taliban, who ironically are being accused by India and the West for living off drug proceeds.

The children in Indian society are the most susceptible to the easy availability of drugs. Juvenile cases registered under the NDPS Act rose to 264 in 2020 from only 123 in 2015 and 82 in 2010.

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An estimated 1 million cocaine users in India can afford to pay upwards of Rs5,000 a gramme. When heroin leaves Afghanistan, it has a value of around Rs10,000 a kilogramme.

A 2019 study by two JNU professors, based on the National Family Health Survey 2015-2016, found that, at 70.8 per cent, the prevalence of substance abuse among northeastern men is 20 per cent higher than the rest of India.

A report by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) last year found that the AIDS-related mortality per 100,000 population in India was estimated to be the highest in Manipur (36.86), followed by Mizoram (28.34) and Nagaland (26.20).

The two major seizures of drugs in India within a month have raised alarm bells and serious concerns regarding the credibility of Indian security agencies in international drug regulatory bodies.

A fortnight later, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested a group of partygoers in Mumbai for consuming drugs. Among them was also the son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

The narcotics were headed to Delhi, the Mundra Port shipload of heroin originated from Kandahar and was loaded into two containers at Iran’s Bandar Abbas Prot.

An earlier seizure in Mumbai had originated from Iran’s Chabahar Port, owned by an Indian company and managed by India business tycoon Adani.

This raised serious questions as to how the Mundra Adani Prot benefited from the consignment landing there. It also raised questions whether the drug cartels were aware of the coming of the Taliban so they wanted to clean up the fields as they had earlier banned opium cultivation.

The analysts believed that it required a paradigm shift for the world from the biggest democracy to drug haven to deal with India.

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But strangely, what never gets traction is the complicity of Western powers in the enlargement of poppy plantations in the war-ravaged country.

The western media, which monopolised the coverage of Afghanistan, never seriously blamed the occupiers as they went about perpetuating a myth of the country being a “graveyard of empires."

The acclaimed analysts and mainstream international media are inclined to draw solid conclusions based on recent events and past facts regarding the Indian state’s involvement in a worldwide sophisticated drug peddling network.

In the recent past, the world has witnessed how India has become an international market for radioactive material.

Indian state’s patronage is dangerous business of sale and purchase of weapon grad radioactive material has further supported the flourishing India radioactive market. This indicates towards Indian governments’ greed for easy money to further speed up its regional power ambitions.

The analysts believed that the Indian intelligence network managed and completely controlled the supply chain of poppy products starting from the plantation, processing, smuggling and sale in the international drug market.

They urged the world not to turn a blind eye towards Indian involvement in the illegal highly dangerous business of drug trafficking, believed to be a threat to humanity.

The UNODC should inquire about the issue to unearth the ground realities and that the international community must fulfil its combined responsibility to demand immediate control measures to safeguard the future of a human generation.

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