Sushanta Roy is a journalist in the north eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora, and the things that affect them.

Diphu July 17: An overpowering pungent smell filled the air of the Karbi Anglong Sports Association playground; the place once shaped up by Sports Authority of India as a training ground for budding talents, located five kilometers from Diphu town. The million dollar drugs burst into flames, damaging the evil drug-smuggling business.

As the bigheaded hand of the VVIP torched the million dollar packets, probably the costliest source of smoke on the earth; a thousand pairs of hands applauded with thunderous claps, the sound reverberating from one concrete gallery to the other.

The Drugs Burst Into Flames

As the saffron blaze engulfed a million dollars worth of crystal meth, heroin, cannabis and an assortment of intoxicating narcotics in tablet shape; smoke rose above the sporting arena and ascended beyond the horizon and eventually mingled with the grandiose blue hill range.

Somewhere a perturbed individual propelled an ear piercing shriek whistle followed by other whistlers. People said “there goes a hundred crore worth drugs, gone with the wind, see the gorgeous blue smoke; don’t know how many addicts will spend sleepless nights after bearing in mind their castle in the sky traumatized.”

These reactions first came in a murmur and mumble, but soon changed into a deafening and boisterous bawl of approval.

Yes, that was the official ceremony to appreciate the work ethics and valor of Assam Police by disposing of seized drugs over the months today, in presence of none other than the Chief Minister of Assam Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma who also holds the portfolio of Home Minister. Official theme of the event is “let the leaping flames of fire wipe out the terror of evil drugs.”

People watch as drugs burst into flames. Image from youtube video.
People watch as drugs burst into flames. Image from youtube video.

Drugs By Weight

Crystal meth 289 kilogram, heroin 347 kilogram, cannabis 102.91 kilogram and an assortment of intoxicating narcotics in tablet shape 203,384; all narcotic and psychotropic substances were representatively burned in public view to send a frightening communication to the peddlers and regulars of banned drugs. The grand mission was burning down drugs, and it commenced at 3.00 PM.

Particular sites prepared to destroy the seized drugs in the custody of Assam Police held during the last two months, which were smoldered as a demonstrative action by the Government of Assam today simultaneously in Diphu and the neighboring district of Golaghat.

A similar action of blazing drugs will be carried out tomorrow at Hojai and Nowgaon district.

Officials Present

Today, Bhaskar Joti Mahanta Director General of Assam Police, Chief Executive Member of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, Tuliram Ronghang was present with Chief Minister of Assam Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma in the venue.

Police, press, and government officials were in attendance at the drugs blazing location, NG Chandra Dhwaj Singha, Deputy Commissioner of Karbi Anglong and Pushpraj Singh Superintendent of Police Karbi Anglong.

In his speech Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma mentioned that Assam Police had put in sincere efforts with full intensity against drug abuse. He said that due to the geographical location it is the preferred trafficking route for drugs. Assam’s proximity to the Golden Triangle (areas between the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand) is the reason for so much contraband.

Assam has been a corridor between Myanmar and the rest of India through which there has traditionally been trafficking of Psychotropic substances. It has been established that contraband drugs from Myanmar enter the North East mainly through the border states of Manipur and Mizoram and find their way to various parts of India through Dimapur via Guwahati.

Pharmaceutical drugs like codeine-based cough syrup are transported from other parts of India to Assam and also to Bangladesh through different border routes.

The drugs burst into flames

Trafficking Routes

Top cop of Assam, Bhaskar Joti Mahanta said there are five routes through which marijuana, Opium, Heroin, Brown Sugar, Codeine based Cough Syrup and other pharmaceutical drugs having psychotropic effect, methamphetamine tablets like Yaba are trafficked.

These are the known routes used by the drug traffickers

  • Moreh Imphal, Kohima, Dimapur, Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Nagaon, Guwahati.
  • Myanmar to Mizoram and then enters Barak valley and Meghalaya, Guwahati.
  • Samrah (Myanmar) Patkai Hills; Khousa to Dibrugarh and Guwahati.
  • Roads connecting upper Myanmar with old Stillwell road and Jagun Lekhapani, Ledo Margherita and Dibrugarh to Guwahati other States of India.
  • Namsai to Chongkham through Banderdewa to Lakhimpur and Tezpur and culminates in Guwahati for other states of India.

Combating Drug Smuggling

Mahanta stated that since May 2021 operations have been intensified against drug abuse and the outcome is exceptionally sensational which is apparent from the statistics of drug recovery.

Intelligence based operations have given up results and police have been able to arrest interstate drugs trafficking gangs.

It may be mentioned here that the proximity of the Golden Triangle to the North East makes Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Assam the targeted states.

The porous Indo-Myanmar border of 1468 kilometers is used by the drug lobby with the help of rebel organizations in Moreh (Manipur) and actively in trafficking drugs through Manipur’s 398 kilometer international Boundary with Myanmar. Free movement of Indian and Myanmar citizens for a fixed period also helps drug smuggling.