About 250 inmates of Cox’s Bazar jail on Saturday took oath against any sort of dealings with drugs, including abuse, smuggling and trading.
The department of narcotics control organised the programme with the help of the prisons directorate.
Officials made motivational speech for the inmates implicated in drugs-related cases and then administered the oath.
Cox’s Bazar department of narcotics chief Soman Mondol, who initiated the move, told New Age that they had earlier held four motivational sessions for 1,000 inmates in June and July but this was the first time oath was administered.
Soman said that they administered oath to about 250 inmates, who declared that they would never use, transport, sell, smuggle or store any kind of drugs, especially Yaba.
The authorities first allowed a couple of inmates to share their thoughts and then officials from different government offices in Cox’s Bazar detailed about the consequences of drugs.
‘One of the inmates said that he was a Yaba peddler. I asked whether he involved anyone of his family in the smuggling and he replied in negative. So we wanted to motivate the inmates that drugs were harmful for others’ families too,’ said Soman.
The programme continued for two hours inside the district jail having about 3,200 inmates, 65 per cent of whom are involved in drugs-related cases.
Department of Immigration and Passport assistant director Abu Nayem Masum preached the inmates about the effects of drugs.
Nayem said he was not sure how many of them would return from the curse of drugs but the aim of the initiative was to show them a path for normal living.
The Cox’s Bazar jail superintendent Bazlur Rahman Akand, among others, was present.
‘We will continue our motivational programme inside jail,’ said Soman.
One of the officials told New Age that there is a problem inside the jail as authorities mixed up the drug peddlers with the drug abusers. ‘As a result of this, treatment of the abusers is not done inside the jail,’ said the official.
According to the police, there are about one crore drug abusers and 26 districts have no drug rehabilitation centre.