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31 Dec 2016

Cop drug drive aids arrest & recovery

A victim being treated at the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences.
Telegraph picture
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Dec. 30: A police initiative against drug peddlers and users that started earlier this year has led to the arrest of around 70 people and helped rehabilitate almost 100 victims so far.
In three years, before the drive was launched, only three drug-related cases had been registered at the Darjeeling Sadar police station. After the initiative was taken up in February, 67 drug peddlers, including two from Siliguri, have been arrested.
To help reform drug victims, the Darjeeling police sent them to rehabilitation centres and kept tabs on them to identify repeat offenders.
"We planned a three-pronged strategy to curb the menace. While we launched a special drive to nab drug peddlers, we intensified patrolling in secluded areas, denying them space. Third, since our drive was against drugs and not people, we started identifying victims and encouraged them to go to rehabilitation centres," Darjeeling police chief Amit P. Javalgi said.
To help victims recover, the police brought in Bashu Rai, a former substance user who quit his job at an MNC in Bangalore, and decided to support others like him.
Rai runs an online forum called "I Support Drug Free Darjeeling" and is working on a project called "Reaching Out" under which he has opened a rehab for drug victims at Gorubathan in Kalimpong. The centre started functioning in August this year.
A police officer said: "After arresting a peddler, we would get information on other drug users from the person. We realised that arresting drug users would not solve the problem. That is why we decided to send victims to rehab centres through Bashu Rai. We also held counselling sessions at the police station. Many parents would approach us and we would convince children to go the centres. Sometimes, we would tell them in a matter of fact way that if they went against their parents' wishes, they could land up being arrested one day."
Rai would send victims to the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences for treatment and then to rehabs, including his own centre.has a lot of also typical a benefitted," said Rai. "benefitted being to in also in With the flow of heroin being stemmedtothe Kapil (name changed), a has benefited from Police has centre only getting better for me," he said.

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