DGP scanner on opium trade, LWE menace, rumour-mongering
Director General of Police (DGP) MV Rao on Wednesday directed police personnel across Jharkhand to tighten the noose around opium cultivators, identify drug peddlers and bust rackets involved in selling illegal narcotics and liquor in the state.
Chairing a closed- door meeting with police officers from all the 24 districts via video conferencing, Rao also asked them to intensify anti-Maoist operations across the state.
Rao’s focus on busting rackets of drug peddlers and opium traders assumes significance as several investigations in the past have revealed the involvement of Left Wing Extremist (LWE) groups in cultivation and supply of opium in the far flung villages of Jharkhand, officials present in the meeting said.
“All opium plantations across the state should be destroyed. People involved in selling illegal narcotics should be identified and put behind the bars,” said Rao.
Besides directing his men to intensify operations against drug traffickers and LWE rebels, the DGP asked them to identify and nab criminals who were roaming free despite arrest warrants issued against them, sources who attended the meeting said, claiming that Rao wanted to launch an all round campaign against offenders in cities as well as villages in order to put a check on the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
A press communiqué released by the police headquarters later in the day stated that Rao spoke to the police personnel about the challenges in implementation of weekly off days for policemen deployed in various police stations. The DGP had earlier said that the weekly off for policemen deployed at police stations will be implemented from January 1, 2021. The same provisions could be extended to other police offices later, he added.
During the meeting on Wednesday, Rao asked cops to maintain a strict vigil on social media activities and nab people involved in spreading rumours on various social media platforms. Even people unknowingly spreading misinformation on social media should be dealt with sternly, he told the cops.
While incidents of crime against women have hogged the attention of the Opposition in Jharkhand lately, no concrete directives related to prevention of crime against women were given during the meeting, sources said.
In the past one month, several incidents of LWE rebels killing innocent villagers have been reported in Jharkhand. Security forces had last month neutralized two dreaded Peoples Liberation Front of India (PLFI) rebels, and the combing operations were ongoing, police said.