India

Congress Targets Centre Over Heroin Seizure From Gujarat Port

Congress Targets Centre Over Heroin Seizure From Gujarat Port

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 2,988.21 kg heroin from two containers at Mundra port

New Delhi:

The Congress today attacked the Centre over the seizure of nearly 3,000 kg of heroin worth thousands of crores of rupees at the Mundra port in Gujarat and asked how such a drug syndicate was operating in India "under the nose" of the government as well as the Narcotics Control Bureau.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized 2,988.21 kg heroin worth Rs 15,000 crore from two containers at the Mundra port in Gujarat's Kutch district and subsequently arrested a couple that runs an import firm from Chennai, officials said today.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera also questioned the government over why the position of a full-time Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) chief has been lying vacant for 18 months now and alleged that the NCB had been reduced to playing "retail politics" with BJP's rivals.

Why is Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, who are from Gujarat, unable to break this drug syndicate, Mr Khera said.

He alleged that smuggling of drugs into India has increased substantially over the past few months, and this has been going on for a few years now.

"This not only can destroy the present and future of the youth of India, but it is the potential funding route for the funding of terrorist organisations globally," he said at a media briefing at the party's headquarters here.

The latest raid and seizure of almost three tonnes of heroin from Mundra Port -- owned by the Adani Group -- is among the largest illegal drug hauls in the world, not just in India, Mr Khera said, claiming that the contraband was worth Rs 21,000 crore in the international market.

"But, how did it come to this? What has the government and Narcotics Control Bureau been doing all this while?" he said.

Mr Khera claimed that over the last few years, the Gujarat coast has become the "favourite route" for smuggling narcotic drugs into India from Pakistan, Iran or Afghanistan.

He cited various instances of drug seizures off the Gujarat coast to claim that it had become the "favorite route" for smuggling.

Mr Khera posed several questions to the government over the issue of drug smuggling.

"Are these revelations just the tip of the iceberg? Is this an instance of 10 consignments being let go and one being caught just to show that the agencies are working and to ensure 'perception management'," he asked.

He also asked how such a drug syndicate was operating in India under the nose of the government of India, government of Gujarat and the NCB.

"Why is NCB misused for retail politics when the international mafia has established its network for drug distribution in the country?" Mr Khera said.