Himachal seeks central help to curb drug menace

New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh today sought central assistance in curbing cannabis and opium cultivation in Kullu, Mandi, Chamba and Shimla districts.

Addressing a meeting of chief ministers on police reforms here, state Social Justice and Empowerment Minister D.R. Shandil said law enforcers in the state required to be better trained, equipped and financed to address the problem of drug trafficking.

Speaking on behalf of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Shandil requested the central government to include the hill state in the same category as Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states to facilitate liberal financial help.

“This would help liberal financial funding under central-state contribution ratio of 90:10,” he said.

Shandil said a new scheme for the modernisation of police had put the state in the category of those states which were eligible for central-state funding in the ratio of 60:40.

He said the Chamba district shared border with Jammu and Kashmir, which has been on high alert owing to militants related activities, and requested the central government to reconsider its decision to cut the strength of Indo-Tibetan Border Police in the district.

Shandil said the state had deployed 471 special police officers along the Jammu and Kashmir border and demanded a revision in their wages, which were last fixed in 2006.

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