India is becoming a major destination as well as a transit hub for drug trafficking in South Asia. Discuss the reasons behind it and also its implications on the internal security of India.

India is one of the largest consumers and a large transit hub for drug trafficking in South Asia. There are some specific reasons behind this.

Reasons:

  • India lies in the vicinity of the largest opiate-producing regions like the golden triangle (Myanmar-Laos-Thailand) and the golden crescent (Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan).
  • Smuggling is promoted by Pakistan for instability in India.
  • Porous borders with Myanmar and tribal regions on both sides are interconnected.
  • Difficult terrain, especially in northeast India makes border management and security difficult.
  • Nexus between drug traffickers, politicians, local police, etc (Example – Punjab).
  • Weak law enforcement under Narcotics & Drugs Act.

It has serious implications for the internal security of India:

  • Funding for terrorist organizations like JeM, LeT, etc.
  • Instability in areas like Punjab because of high drug abuse. Almost 30% of youth are addicted to drugs.
  • Drug smuggling routes also provide safe passage for the entry of terrorists.
  • Money earned by drug trafficking is pumped to fuel insurgency in North-East, Kashmir, Naxalite areas, etc.

Thus, NDPSA law should be strengthened and its implementation should be done strictly with a special focus on surveillance and effective border management using systems like CIBMS, etc.

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