Q. India’s proximity to two of the world’s biggest illicit opium-growing states has enhanced her internal security concerns. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and other illicit activities such as gunrunning, money laundering and human trafficking. What counter-measures should be taken to prevent the same?
[Answer in 250 Words]
Indian security and opium growing states
- India is located between two international hotspots of opium production, namely Afghanistan and Myanmar. These states account for 90% of global opium production.
- Geographic proximity, hostile neighbours and porous international borders, has made India both a destination and a transit route for illegal opium trade.
- This raises several internal security concerns for India affecting its economic, political and social security.
- These insecurities are further aggravated due to linkages between drug trafficking and other organised crimes like money laundering, human trafficking and gunrunning.
BODY PART 1
- Given the market value of narcotics, illicit opium trade is used to sponsor costly terrorist activities. Several studies highlight how opium production in golden crescent finds its way to Pak sponsored Terrorism.
- It is also used to sponsor insurgency in North East as well as Naxalism in red corridor.
- Terrorism sustains on arms and ammunitions. Thus the highly lucrative money from opium trade finds its way into gunrunning. Several syndicates in Indian subcontinent thrive on narcotics among other organised crimes.
- HUMAN TRAFFICKING
- Their can also be seen a direct relationship between drug trafficking and human trafficking. Both sustain each other and consequently several other organised and illicit activities. Organ trade, prostitution, etc are seen as alternate means of sponsoring other illicit activities
The drug proceeds are laundered through numerous legal and illegal financial institutions and petty business enterprises .It finds routed to real estate and other businesses. It also finds its way into elections and has led to criminalisation of Indian politics.
Given the threat to India’s internal security, it is imperative to take concerted coordinated action to curb the same.
BODY PART 2
- SUPPLY SIDE
- Strengthen border surveillance and border management through Integrated Border Security System. It needs to be coupled with identification of porous border hotbeds from where trafficking is regularly carried out.
- Monitoring of illicit activities by active coordination between state, central and international authorities. This requires active collaboration between various agencies through regular training, exercises, and agreements.
- DEMAND SIDE
- Awareness building and educating people about deleterious effects of narcotic drugs.
- Community-based intervention for identification, treatment, motivation, counselling and rehabilitation of drug addicts.
- Regulating the negative impact of media which promotes consumption of such intoxicants as eulogized by cinema.
- Training and providing employment opportunities to the youth, and keeping them involved in social activities through promotion of sports, festivals, marathons.
Thus, given the vulnerabilities of India’s internal security, it is imperative to take proactive multistakeholder approach against these illicit activities.