Drug Trade Shows No Signs Of Abating
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By CHandan Haygunde
THE sale and consumption of narcotic substances are on the rise in Pune. In the year 2009, the Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Pune police arrested 97 persons in 58 cases of sale and consumption of narcotic substances in the city. In 2010, in the first seven months itself, the ANC has already arrested 98 persons in 57 cases.
Police inspector Satish Devare of the ANC said that the days are gone when drug trade in Pune was limited to certain pockets, like the Patil estate slums in Shivajinagar or the burning ghat in Koregaon Park. In the last one year, police have recovered narcotics substances from several parts of the city.
"The drug trade has spread across the city. People from various class and age are involved in it. To control the menace we have also started arresting the drug consumers along with the drug peddlers. This year so far we have seized contraband worth Rs 31.24 lakh. It includes 272 kilograms of ganja, 1.371 kilogram of brown sugar, along with 5.6 kilograms of opium and 3 grams of charas," said Devare.
Police sources said that ganja comes to Pune from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Druge peddlers from Thane and Mumbai areas are active in the ganja trade in Pune. Brown sugar comes from Mandsaur and other places in Madhya Pradesh. Opium, charas and heroine was brought from Gujrat, Rajasthan, Jammu-Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal border.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajendra Dahale, who is heading the ANC, had pointed out that drug trade was increasing in the outskirts of Kondhwa, Yerwada and Pimpri. "Our team is continuously monitoring the drug trade through informers," Dahale said.
Police sources said that with good transportation facilities, connectivity to Mumbai, Goa and other cities, a growing population of students, especially foreigners, Pune has emerged as a transit point for the drugs trade.
It may be recalled that in July 2009, the Bangalore police had arrested a Kenyan national Micah Aloo Dumbi with possession of 33 grams of cocaine worth Rs 3.5 lakh. Investigation revealed that Dumbi brought the cocaine from his aide in Pune. Dumbi was selling cocaine to students, software engineers, BPO employees and foreigners.
Then in October 2009, the Pune police arrested a 31-year-old Iranian national, Peman Mehmood Khavanin, in a car at Kalyani Nagar in possession of 11 grams of cocaine, 96 grams of hashish, 133 grams of opium and 56 grams of charas, worth Rs 1.38 lakh. Khavanin was studying at a city college. In December 2008, police had arrested three persons near Salisbury Park, in possession of 152 grams of pure heroin worth Rs 22.5 lakh. Investigations revealed that the prime suspect Salam Singh of Manipur had brought heroine from the Maynmar border.
Even during the rave party raid at Donje village at the foot of the Sinhagad Fort in March 2007, the Pune rural police had seized a huge stock of narcotics substances, including costly drugs like heroin, cocaine and California drops from the youths. From July August 2009, the ANC had arrested four persons, including a woman Jyoti Bende of Yerwada, who were linked to drug peddlers in Himachal Pradesh.