Mientras una patrulla urbana está rastreando a personas que consumen drogas y forzándolas a someterse a tratamiento, los servicios para reducción de daños son incluso más importantes durante la crisis del COVID-19. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.
I am Kishorchand (Bungo), the state coordinator for the Drug User Forum of Manipur supported through the Harm Reduction programme of Alliance India. On the evening of 1st May 2020, I had just come home from work when I received a phone call from an unknown number. He identified himself as the police officer who was present at the site when two overdose cases were reported at a Diwali gathering last year i.e. 2019. I had gone there to administer naloxone to the two individuals, following which they recovered. The police officer had apparently noted my phone number at that time for future reference. He asked me to come to the Imphal West Police Station as they had three drug users in custody, and one of them appeared to be undergoing severe withdrawal symptoms.
All three persons detained were from the same locality, situated at the heart of Imphal West. They had been under the surveillance of a local vigilante group with an anti-drug and alcohol mindset monitoring the movements of drug users during the Covid-19 lockdown and were caught early that morning in the process of buying heroin. In the scuffle that ensued, when they tried to escape, one of them fell from the two-wheeler and sustained severe injuries. Following that, they were all apprehended and taken to the Police Station.