Kochi: An IPS officer in Kerala has presented the grim picture of the state in terms of growing drug menace, saying even the children of police officers have fallen addicts to narcotic substances. Kochi City Police Commissioner K Sethuraman cited a shocking case in which both the sons of a superintendent of police have become drug addicts, pushing the family into a crisis.
The officer was addressing the Kerala Police Officers' Association (KPOA) state conference at Angamaly near here on Thursday. He also mentioned an incident in which the son of a police officer became a drug addict and got killed in Thiruvananthapuram.
Sethuraman called upon his colleagues to stay alert about the growing drug menace, saying the people have been keenly watching what the force was doing to tackle the situation.
"We have to keep our eyes open and check why this is happening even in the quarters where we live. There are instances of children of policemen of all ranks being addicted to drugs. An SP's two boys are addicted to drugs. It is an unbearable situation. The family itself is in trouble. This needs to be taken very seriously," the IPS officer said.
Sethuraman, however, said the drug situation in Kerala could not be termed a crisis yet. He said the state’s average in drug use was way below the national figure. “The national average of people using some form of drugs is 2.5 per cent whereas it is only 1.2 per cent in Kerala. Here the addiction is also not as intense as in some other states because here substances like ganja and MDMA are used mostly. They are less addictive than heroin and cocaine. We can’t say it’s a crisis, but we need to stay alert,” he said.
The senior police officer's statement came two days after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cautioned teachers and parents against the increasing influence of the drug mafia among children and said his government is making effective interventions to curb the dangerous menace.
Many innocent children are falling into the trap laid by the mafia, and there seems to be no gender difference in contraband consumption among youngsters, he said in Kannur on May 23.
A recent survey conducted by Kerala police among youths below 21 years of age who were victims of substance abuse has revealed another shocking fact that 40 per cent of them were below the age of 18.
What is more frightening is that a majority of them were girls, and after falling prey to the drug cartels, they were being used as carriers, it said.
(With inputs from PTI)