Mumbai : In order to curb the increasing drug trade in Maharashtra and pin down the smugglers, the state government on Thursday constituted the Anti-Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) headquartered in Pune.
The state home department issued an order to set up the anti-narcotics body which will be headed by a Special Inspector General of Police. During the recent monsoon session of the assembly, deputy chief minister and home minister Devendra Fadnavis had expressed the need for stringent measures to curb the increasing narcotics trade in the state.
He had admitted that there was an increase in cases of drug smuggling in Maharashtra and smugglers are using high-tech platforms like the darknet, WhatsApp, Google Pay, Emoji etc.
“Anti-Narcotics Task Force will be set up in Maharashtra. An officer of the rank of Special Inspector General of Police will be the chief of this ANTF. The headquarters of ANTF will be located at the CID building in Pune. The jurisdiction of the ANTF will be all over Maharashtra except Mumbai,” the home department order stated.
According to an officer from the home department, the ANTF will take stringent action on those involved in the trade, supply and distribution of narcotics. It will also work to rehabilitate the victims of narcotics and will also work to spread awareness regarding the effects of narcotics.
“Besides investigating the cases coming before the force, the anti-narcotics agency is supposed to find out the source of the narcotics trade in the state and destroy their supply-distribution chain by taking action against drug peddlers and smugglers,” the officer added.
ANTF will submit a report to the director general of police every month, the officer said.