Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Monday said that well-off individuals as well as journalists and police are also involved in drug trade, and they too face justice without exception.
The minister made the remark while speaking at a roundtable meeting in Dhaka’s CIRDAP auditorium.
“In prison, you will find police, Rab personnel along with businessmen in narcotic cases. Law is not different for policemen,” he said.
Regarding dope test, the home minister said police are going under dope tests and if results are positive, they are being suspended. “We have taken a strict position in this regard,” he said.
He said dope test during initial selection for jobs will be introduced.
“It is said that doctors are the ones who are mostly into drug abuse but I have no idea about this. Doctors, engineers, journalists – anyone of us can take drugs, as there are misguided people in every profession,” he added.
To curb drug abuse, the government is not only running newspaper supplements but also producing short TVCs – generating awareness, increasing manpower and capacity of Narcotics Control Directorate in every district and setting up labs, he said.
Asaduzzaman said the capacity of jails in Bangladesh is more than 41,000 and it will be increased soon. But there are more than 80 lakh inmates and 60 percent of them are drug peddlers, he said.
“There is long backlog of cases, and a separate special tribunal for drugs cases is needed. If the punishment becomes more visible, both supply and demand of drugs will decline,” he said.
There are 60 to 70 million drug addicts in Bangladesh, for whom no quality hospital is available.
“Our drug addiction treatment centers do not have experienced doctors or psychiatrists. No one from upper and middle-class goes to the drug treatment center in Tejgaon,” said the home minister.
He assured that government will support the establishment of drug addiction treatment centers through the private sector.