Time News Desk: Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today (26 September, 2022) said police, journalists as well as well-off individuals are involved in the drug trade, and they too face justice without exception.
"In prison, you will find police, Rab personnel along with businessmen in narcotic cases. Law is not different for policemen," he said while speaking at a roundtable in Dhaka's CIRDAP Auditorium.
Regarding the dope test, the minister said police are going under dope tests and if the results are positive, they are being suspended. "We have taken a strict position in this regard," he said.
He said dope tests during initial selection for jobs will be introduced.
"It is said 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 the 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 a 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 no quality hospitals available for drug addicts in Bangladesh.
"Our drug addiction treatment centres do not have experienced doctors or psychiatrists. No one from the upper and middle-class goes to the drug treatment centre in Tejgaon," said the home minister.
He assured that government will support the establishment of drug addiction treatment centres through the private sector.