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War on drugs: Hostel wardens, bar managers may be booked



Core Group Formed | Action Plan Shortly
Multiple agencies in the state will soon put in place an action plan to deal with drug abuse, especially among students and youths.
Determined to deal with the problem with an iron fist, the home department is mooting action against hostel wardens, managers of bars and lounges, owners of places where party drugs are used.Other measures include cancellation of licences of establishments that allow use of drugs.

In the recently concluded legislature session in Belagavi, 16 questions were raised about drugs and a special discussion was held. The house panel on women and children had more than two meetings with various stakeholders and recommended that a coherent effort sustainable over a long period needs to be in place. “All departments are responsible.The health department needs to stop the sale of several banned drugs by chemists, police need to enforce anti-drug laws and make more seizures and arrests and the education department needs to put in place a system of making schools and colleges more accountable,“ committee head NA Haris said.

A police official said the onus cannot be on his department alone and all stakeholders should act responsibly . The department has already began raiding places based on intelligence inputs.

Subash Chandra, additional chief secretary , home department, told TOI: “We’ve been discussing this issue since September. A core group with representatives from all departments concerned has been formed and we’re working on an action plan.“

Special emphasis is being laid on Bengaluru, Udupi (particularly Manipal), Mangaluru and Mysuru. Additional direc tor general of police (crime & technical services) Bhaskar Rao said: “There’s serious concern because a lot of students are using drugs. We cannot allow the youth to lose careers and worse, lives, due to drugs. There will be a special focus on districts that house big institutions.“

Stating that booking of students under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act can ruin their careers, Rao said the onus should be on prevention, for which schools and colleges, bars and other establishments must play an active role. City police have already started a WhatsApp group with representatives from 60 educational institutes.P Harishekharan, additional commissioner of police (east), said this group which has college staff, students, parents and members of the public from specific areas, will collect information on drug peddlers and other illegal activities in and around educational institutes.

The Universities Grant Commission (UGC), in a circular dated September 1, had asked all universities to take proactive steps in preventing drug abuse among students, which state universities are also striving to put in place.The Department of Pre-University has asked colleges to report cases of drug abuse to police, while the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, in a multidepartmental meeting last week agreed to set up committees in schools.

“The panel under COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act), is the first step,“ said Kripa Alva, chairperson, Karnataka State Child Rights Protection Commission, adding that students, teachers and parents can share information on the drug problem.

Source: Times of india