Health ministry approves to deployment of police force for protection of drug enforcement officers

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently cleared a proposal from the Drug Consultative Committee (DCC) to provide security to the state drug regulators engaged in the enforcement activities of Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act, 1940

Food And Drug Association

In its 57th meeting, the DCC recommended that police force should be deployed along with drug enforcement officers while they are on duty so that they can be protected against attacks from drug dealers.

The committee stated that they have several cases which have come to light where the life and safety of drug regulators were endangered while they were on duty.

The draft presented at the DCC meeting stated:

‘In agenda no. 4 of the 57th Drug Consultative Committee meeting the issue was raised over the consideration of the proposal to provide security measures to the drugs regulators engaged in the enforcement activities of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and rules made thereunder.

Drug Consultative Committee (DCC) apprised that there are repeated cases in news where intimidation, threat, looting and lynching with the drugs regulators have come to the knowledge.

In one of the recent case, Dr Neha Shourie, a one officer of the FDA-Punjab was killed in the office due to her actions against the unaccounted and unauthorised sale of habit forming drugs by a chemist.

All such incidences are making it unsafe to work individually by the regulators without adequate protection. DCC deliberated the matter and suggested that, Drug Control department of every state should be empowered with the police force of their respective state in line with Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana etc. to protect the drug regulators from the threats.

Accordingly, Drug Controllers may request their respective State Authorities for making such arrangement or ensure that in every district at least one police officer is assigned for support in regulatory work-related to Drugs and Cosmetics Act and other Act being enforced by State Drugs Control authorities.’

Punjab drug inspector Dr Neha Shoree, posted at a government-run laboratory, was shot dead in March, this year, while working in her office in Kharar on Friday by a chemist who later committed suicide by shooting himself.