It had been mentioned before in whispers that a certain inmate of the high security Tihar Jail was running Delhi’s drug trade from his cell. Neither the jail officials nor the police knew of it, but the lid is off now.
Sharafat Sheikh is the inmate accused of running the trade — put at Rs 500 crore annually — from his cell inside Tihar using two mobile phones. Sheikh is in prison accused of drug running (NDPS) and organised crime (MCOCA).
Around September 2007, Delhi Police’s narcotics department intercepted calls made and received from Tihar. They showed the prison officials the call records, and were met with complete disbelief and shock.
In the searches that followed, two cellphones were found from Sheikh’s cell, the police said. When Hindustan Times contacted Tihar authorities in September, they denied any searches. Police officers also turned curiously coy about it.
This newspaper is now in possession of documents to prove that Delhi’s biggest druglord was indeed running the show from behind the bars.
After the interception, the narcotics branch on September 9 registered a case under the NDPS Act. The FIR stated that Sheikh spoke to his son, Wasim, on September 8 at 11.25 pm and September 9 at 8.58 am. “The conversations were of important nature,” the FIR said. Sheikh was using the number 9971519184 while son was using 9891439498.
In the first conversation, Sheikh told Wasim to reach office at 8 am. “I’ve to send to Baby (a suspected peddler)… I’ll tell you when you come in the morning.” That call lasted 130 seconds.