North Lakhimpur: The recent arrest of Jayanta Patir and his wife Togor Patir by Lakhimpur police in Assam has once again brought to light the worrying activities of the narcotics trade in the district. The police recovered suspected heroin in 76 small containers from the duo, who have been running an illicit trade for a long time.
However, this move against peddlers with the arrest and recovery of banned substances has been the limit of police operations against drugs so far in the district. There has been no success in tracing the kingpin of drug trafficking, who remains elusive to the police.
Drug trafficking has been rampant in the district in the last five years, marked by tragic deaths of young addicts and arrests of drug peddlers at regular intervals.
In the most recent incident on May 1, 2022, Lakhimpur Police recovered heroin from the pocket of a uniformed Class III boy in No.2 Parbatipur, Banderdewa. The boy’s parents, Ramakanta Gam (40) and Meena Bori (35), were arrested as drug peddlers. In another incident, Riju Pegu, wife of drug dealer Jiten Biswas, was arrested and a huge amount of Chinese and Myanmarese currencies were recovered from her residence.
Another notable arrest was that of Jiten Biswas himself, who was caught with heroin weighing 180 grams, concealed inside the door panel of his car, on June 10, 2020. Biswas is a history-sheeter with numerous drug-related cases against him at different places in the last ten years. He has been arrested several times for the same crimes, with the recovery of contrabands, ammunition and foreign currencies, and with the same vehicle.
Despite his repeated arrests, Biswas has always managed to slip through the police net. This has raised concerns among citizens, who are baffled by the Lakhimpur Police’s failure to nab the notorious drug kingpin.
The Lakhimpur Police launched armed operations against drug trafficking in late 2021, following the directives of the state government. However, these operations have only resulted in the arrest of peddlers. The traffickers and the kingpin of this crime are still elusive to the police.
As seen from the arrests of drug peddlers and the police “encounters”, the activities of narcotic trade in the Lakhimpur district has its epicentre at No. 2 Parbatipur in Banderdewa on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary. Located strategically on the inter-state boundary as the gateway to Arunachal Pradesh, Banderdewa is a hub of drug trade along with various other illicit activities like wildlife trafficking. It is well connected by road and rail.
The Lakhimpur Police must intensify its efforts to nab the kingpin of drug trafficking in the district. The police must also work in coordination with the law enforcement agencies of Arunachal Pradesh to curb inter-state drug trafficking.