Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday that the state government is intensifying its battle against the drug trade
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday that the state government is intensifying its battle against the drug trade.
Fadnavis, who also oversees the home portfolio, warned that police personnel implicated in narcotics cases would face dismissal, not just suspension.
This announcement came during a legislative council session, responding to a calling attention motion raised by MLC Aniket Tatkare expressing concern about drug-related discoveries in the state.
Fadnavis highlighted the dismissal of three police personnel in connection with the escape of drug kingpin Lalit Patil from a government-run hospital in Pune in early October. Patil was later apprehended near Bengaluru. The deputy CM emphasized the seriousness of the state's commitment to combating drug-related activities.
MLC Aniket Tatkare (NCP-Ajit Pawar group), in a calling attention motion, expressed concern over the discovery of a huge amount of drugs from a non-operational chemical unit in Raigad district.
He also referred to the recovery of plastic packets containing charas along the Raigad coast a few months ago and asked the government to take action in the matter.
An official said on Friday police have seized mephedrone worth more than Rs 106 crore during a raid at a chemical company near Khalapur in Raigad district, located adjoining Mumbai, and apprehended three persons for allegedly manufacturing the banned substance at the facility.
Fadnavis, replying to the calling attention motion, told the house that sometime back Union Home Minister Amit Shah had presided over a meeting of state home ministers and DGPs to discuss ways to curb drugs trade.
It was decided in the meeting to step up intelligence sharing between various central and state agencies in a bid to further tighten the noose on drugs trade, said the deputy CM.
As a follow-up action after the meeting, the Maharashtra government called a crime control conference where it asked all police units to work on priority to crack down on drugs menace, he said.
Fadnavis lauded the Raigad police for its intelligence-based action against the chemical facility where mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant drug, was being manufactured.
He said police were searching other closed factories in various parts of the state where movements of people have been noticed.
It has come to the notice of authorities that curated drugs are being produced very easily, said the minister.
"The Maharashtra police have started a very important fight against drugs trade. It will be a long-drawn battle," Fadnavis maintained.
"I have taken a decision to not just suspend, but dismiss (police officials) under (Article) 311 (of the Constitution) if they are found involved in drugs cases," he asserted.
Article 311 pertains to the dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of persons employed in civil capacities under the Centre or a state. (With inputs from PTI)