Drug Trade: State a Major Transit Point
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28 June 2010
That being a a border state, and one of the major opium producers in the country, Rajasthan has always been on the radar of drug smugglers. Over the last few years, the state has emerged as a major transit point for smuggling of drugs to South East Asia. Also with a number of South–bound trains running from the state, places such as Bhawani Mandi in Kota have become major stations from where drugs are smuggled outside India, via Mumbai–Chennai route.
To mark the International Anti–Drug Day, zonal director of Narcotics Control Bureau, Bishon Nayak said it has started various awareness programmes to check the rise in drug trade in the state. The arrest of the then chairman of the municipal council of Bhawani Mandi, Ram Lal Gurjar, in May last year, who was involved in a number of cases under the NDPS Act is such one of the many examples, he said.
Currently, the Nigerian and Tanzanian syndicates are active in the drug trade, who smuggle drugs from across the Western Rajasthan border. About an year ago, the Jodhpur police had seized nearly 20 kg heroin from some Tanzanians, who were smuggling it from Pakistan into India. Few months later, the police seized 58 kg heroin, which again was smuggled from Pakistan.
Besides, Pratap Garh, Jhalawar, Bhilwara, Chittor, Kota and Baran, account for nearly 25% opium production of the country. Of late, some opium producers have also started producing heroin. Though inferior in quality, the heroin trade is also picking up in the state.
Nayak said Jodhpur and Ajmer divisions are the major consumers of the opium. Religious centres such as Pushkar, which are tourist hot–spots, top the list in charas consumption. To check the increasing production and consumption of drugs, the NCB has also become more active in the state. In 2009, it had seized nearly 168 kg opium, 6kg heroin and arrested nine persons. The heroin was brought into the country from the borders of Jaisalmer, and was meant to be supplied to a Nigerian group in Delhi.