Police dope test a wake-up call

Now the first thing to keep in mind is that this phenomenon should be considered as the tip of the iceberg. Since the policymakers of the police have been able to take this action on their own initiative, it is hoped that the action will continue. But the question is, what about other government agencies, departments or institutions? Given the reality, it is important to consider whether dope tests at regular intervals can be made mandatory for all government agencies or it can be institutionalised. If dope tests become routine at all organisations, no one will feel embarrassed to take the tests.

In this context, we can recall that the region known as the Golden Triangle (Myanmar, China, Laos, Thailand) has become a haven for the network of drug smugglers during the pandemic. Last month, Myanmar’s military seized the largest drug shipment in history. One of these is the new synthetic drug methamphetamines (190 million tablets). Myanmar authorities say the destinations of the consignments were neighbouring countries.

For the first time a methamphetamine factory has been found in Jigatala in the capital. India’s Assam police chief said in an interview in mid-November that the Bangladesh border route is one of the identified routes in the Golden Triangle. Last year, the BGB director general and the RAB confirmed that the new drug route in the country was four pockets along Sylhet border.

In addition, the manner in which the 466 accused drug dealers were gunned down in a special operation in 2018 proves how fragile the situation is for drug trafficking in Bangladesh. In this context, we can recall that the speed of trial in drug cases is relatively slow. Every month 5,000 to 8,000 new drug cases are being placed before the court. It does not seem any major change can be made in the anti-drug campaign with a mobile court. In such a situation, the country’s law enforcement agencies, educational institutions and government offices should be closely monitored.

It proves that measures like extrajudicial killings, hasty trials by mobile court are not freeing us from the curse of drugs. The government must be regularly involved in all-out anti-drug operations. Doing it periodically or on an ad hoc basis would be suicidal.

Policy makers must take appropriate action on how the police department can immediately expand the dope test system. The action against those proven guilty should be stopped by any means.

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