Journalists, cops among those involved in illicit drug trade: Home minister
UNB || BusinessInsider
Graphics: Business Insider Bangladesh
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Monday said that well-off individuals, as well as journalists and policemen, are also involved in the illicit drug trade, and they too face justice without exception.
The minister made the remark while speaking at a roundtable meeting in Dhaka’s CIRDAP auditorium.
“In prison, you will find police, RAB personnel along with businessmen in narcotic cases. Law is not different for policemen,” he said.
Regarding dope tests, the home minister said police are going under dope tests and if the results are positive, they are being suspended. “We have taken a strict position in this regard,” he said.
He said a dope test during initial selection for jobs will be introduced.
“It is said that doctors are the ones who are mostly into drug abuse but I have no idea about this. Doctors, engineers, journalists — anyone of us can take drugs, as there are misguided people in every profession,” he added.
To curb drug abuse, the government is not only running newspaper supplements but also producing short TVCs — generating awareness, increasing manpower and capacity of the Narcotics Control Directorate in every district and setting up labs, he said.
Asaduzzaman said the capacity of jails in Bangladesh is more than 41,000 and it will be increased soon. But there are more than 80 lakh inmates and 60 percent of them are drug peddlers, he said.
“There is a long backlog of cases, and a separate special tribunal for drug cases is needed. If the punishment becomes more visible, both supply and demand of drugs will decline,” he said.
There are 60 to 70 million drug addicts in Bangladesh, for whom no quality hospital is available.
“Our drug addiction treatment centres do not have experienced doctors or psychiatrists. No one from upper and middle-class goes to the drug treatment centre at Tejgaon,” said the home minister.
He assured that the government will support the establishment of drug addiction treatment centres through the private sector.