The Kerala Police registered over 26,000 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in 2022 – a jump of around 450 per cent from 2016 when a total of 5,924 cases were registered, reported The Indian Express.
In 2022, the police registered the highest number of cases under the NDPS Act which stood at 26,629. In 2016, a total of 5,924 cases were registered against 9,244 in 2017, 8,724 in 2018, 9,245 in 2019, 4,968 in 2020 and 5,695 in 2021. The cases have gone up steadily since 2016, and witnessed a dip in the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, and sharply went up in 2022.
Data from the excise department showed that the number of arrests made under the NDPS Act grew 87.47 per cent between 2016 and 2022 — from 3,217 to 6,031, while cases registered in the same period went up by 104 per cent.
In the same period, the number of raids only had a marginal increase from 1,39,366 in 2016 to 1,44,200 in 2022.
Additional Director-General Police and Excise Commissioner S Ananthakrishnan said that the rise in the cases is due to “strict enforcement and raids” as well as easy accessibility of synthetic drugs.
He added that while drugs are brought to Kerala from all over India, Bengaluru and Goa remain the major hubs from where they are sourced. A senior police officer said that cannabis is brought into the state from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.
Cannabis is the main drug that is used by teenagers, a study conducted by the Kerala excise department showed, which said that 46 per cent of the respondents, who were teenagers, used the drug more than once in a day.
While quantity of ganja seized over the previous year has come down, the seizures for drugs like heroin, charas and hashish have witnessed an upward curve.
Meanwhile, recreational drug MDMA has found a market in the state in the last seven years. A total of 7,775.425 gm of the MDMA drug was seized by the excise department in 2022, highest haul in the past six years. Another drug methamphetamine, which was recorded by the excise department in 2021 when 88.806 gm of it was seized, it spiked in 2022 with seizure standing at 2,432.483 gm.