Beware! The city’s drug cartels may have their eyes on the school your child studies at. Delhi Police has zeroed in on 31 such institutes and 57 other hotspots across the Capital that are on the radar of peddlers, in a bid to rein in the smuggling of narcotics. According to cops, these schools located in areas such as Malviya Nagar, Mehrauli, Janakpuri and Dwarka have come on the radar of drug traders recently.
These and other problem areas were identified as part of an action plan to crack down on the narcotics syndicates. In an affidavit filed in the high court, Delhi Police said the clean-up has resulted in a steep rise in confiscation of the contraband in the city.
Compared to the first six months of last year, the seizure of various drugs has nearly doubled this time and, in some specific cases, gone up by up to 500 per cent.
This includes substances like opium, heroin and cocaine. The figures reveal that there has been a 543 per cent jump in the seizure of ganja (weed), 443 per cent in opium, 305 per cent in heroin and 66 per cent in case of cocaine. There has also been an increase in the registration of cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Delhi Police had registered 136 cases between January and June last year and this year the number in the same period was 216. Cops have also arrested 328 people this year as compared to 222 in the same span last year.
Officials said ganja, or weed, is the most common and easily accessible drug and so it has seen the biggest hauls.
Police have prepared a zone-wise list of trouble spots in the Capital that have become hubs of drug smuggling. This includes parts of South Delhi like Kalkaji, Nehru Place, Malviya Nagar, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Okhla as well as Dwarka and Kirti Nagar. Inter-state bus terminals as well as major railway stations like New Delhi, Old Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin and Anand Vihar too are popular among drug traders.
“31 vulnerable schools have been visited for the purpose of proper monitoring and curbing availability and peddling of drugs and narcotic substances among schoolchildren. We have set up district wise anti-narcotics squad led by the official of inspector rank” said the affidavit filed by Rajesh Deo, deputy commissioner of police (legal).
Experts say parents should take notice and act if a child’s grades drop, he loses interest in the activities he once loved, if he changes friends, or if he starts to have trouble at school.
Speaking to Mail Today, a senior officer said foreigners are sourcing opiates and other narcotics originating in Afghanistan to India via East African countries and also supplying pharmaceutical opioids, mainly tramadol, methadone and codeine, from India to African nations. “The foreigners, who generally overstay in the country, manage to route Afghan opiates and other narcotics using the route through Pakistan, Iran and subsequently through the Gulf countries to East Africa. From there, they bring drugs into the country,” an officer of the Narcotics Control Bureau said.
According to officers, Afghan heroin is smuggled from across the porous Indo-Pak border, while opium and poppy husk are snuck in from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where poppy cultivation is legal. “Charas and hashish are smuggled from Himachal Pradesh along with synthetic drugs. Drug units along the Himachal-Punjab border produce Ice drugs (methamphetamine),” he said, adding that agencies have seized a huge amount of cocaine that was supposed to be distributed in Delhi and NCR.
After this, a rise was noticed in the supply of heroin in Delhi. Most heroin seized in the city came from Afghanistan through the porous borders between India and Pakistan. “The well-entrenched drug mafia has opened up new routes of supply. In the east, drugs have been entering India from Myanmar and Bangladesh for consumption here as well as for further movement to other countries,” the officer added.
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