01 July 2010
By Neha Shukla
‘Power’ is a mixture of cut (a jargon used for paracetamol) and alprazolam while ‘jhatka’ is power plus gun powder. A gram of heroin will come for Rs 800, but adulterants come at a lesser price.
The zonal unit of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Lucknow is playing a cautious watchdog and trying to curb the emerging trends in illegal drug manufacturing and sale.
“Every enforcement agency has been told about the trend and there is strict enforcement and all possible co–ordination with other agencies”, says zonal director Sanjay Kumar, an IPS officer.
In 2009–10, 34.97–kg heroin, two–kg alprazolam, 5.8–kgs charas, a quintal of poppy straw and 199–kg acetic anhydride were seized and 29 people arrested. In 2008–09, 24.15 kgs of heroin, two kgs of alprazolam, 17.29 quintals of mandrax, 84 quintals of poppy straw, 150 kgs of acetic anhydride were seized and 28 people arrested.
The seizures and arrests have increased with the years. In 2007–08, only 8.7 kgs of heroin, 7.3 quintal of poppy straw, 10 kgs of charas were seized and six persons arrested.
NCB keeping a close watch on Barabanki
Lucknow: Out of the total seizures and arrests made by Lucknow office of NCB in the past three years, maximum are from Barabanki. The district, since 1820, has been the hub of illegal drug manufacturing. Under the NDPS Act, Barabanki along with eight other districts of Uttar Pradesh — Budaun, Shahjahanpur, Lucknow, Bareilly, Raebareli, Faizabad, Mau and Ghazipur — have been chosen for legal cultivation of opium by Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN).
But that has not curbed illegal extraction of opiates. And Barabanki could have taken the lead here. The district, by now, could have already transferred the technology to states like Assam, Jharkhand, J and K, Nagaland, Manipur, West Bengal and Bihar which have illegal opium cultivation.
Officials at zonal unit of NCB in Lucknow, which has within its jurisdiction states like Uttarakhand, Bihar and UP, say technology transfer is a bigger threat.
On the newer adulterants coming, there have been seizures from Varanasi, Bareilly and Gorakhpur as well.
“Bareilly has taken to production of goda–powder (opium husk)”, says Kumar. The things do not end here. Investigation and interrogation by enforcement agencies have found out .
To increase the volume of drugs and lessen their price, lactogen, glucose, energy drinks like Bournvita and Complan are used as adulterants.