City queues for drugs getting longer | india | Hindustan Times
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City queues for drugs getting longer

PEOPLE STAND here in long queues to get the stuff everyday. No, it is not a queue for one of those hot products of any multinational sold on a massive rebate. The people standing in these queues are in fact beyond worldly things. They are on a trip of their own. With over two-dozen ?retail? counters catering to hundreds of such addicts, Lucknow?s appetite for smack has shown a marked increase in the recent past. Consequently, the supply chains have become much more bolder and conspicuous.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 01:22 IST

PEOPLE STAND here in long queues to get the stuff everyday. No, it is not a queue for one of those hot products of any multinational sold on a massive rebate. The people standing in these queues are in fact beyond worldly things. They are on a trip of their own.

With over two-dozen ‘retail’ counters catering to hundreds of such addicts, Lucknow’s appetite for smack has shown a marked increase in the recent past. Consequently, the supply chains have become much more bolder and conspicuous.

Take for instance the one at Shram Vihar Nagar locality in Alambagh. A pusher by the name of Bullet, a 55-year-old woman, runs the show here, selling smack from a counter where addicts line up like people buying cinema tickets. The selling takes place in full public view for a period of over one-and-half-an hour.

Do the cops here need a bigger display than this to arrest the menace? But the local police wink at the goings on. Even if they sometimes send the kingpin (Bullet is currently in jail) behind bars, the counter sale goes on as it is under the patronage of the same police station.

The Narcotics Department too cannot be exonerated from the blame for letting the trade go on in its present overt form. Despite tall claims that they keep a close watch on the drug racket, the peddlers in Lucknow are receiving the consignment without any trouble at all.

An STF official, who had conducted several operations against drug dealers, revealed that the drug agents in Lucknow now avoid receiving consignments from the dealers directly. The agents have employed youngsters who take trips to the notorious drug mandi at Tikra in Barabanki on motorcycles. These boys bring the consignment concealed in a duct manually assembled in their motorcycles. Since the cops on the way hardly suspect the youngsters on trendy mobikes, the consignment reaches the agents without any hassle.

To run their business safely, the agents have engaged Bangladeshi migrants, who stay in different parts of the city. These families have occupied nazul lands around the canals in the city. The women, children and male members of the families pretend to be ragpickers but are actually engaged in selling smack. The list of their possession includes jewelleries, refrigerators, television sets, coolers, motorcycles and costly kitchen appliances.  The pockets frequented by the addicts are Shram Vihar Nagar in Alambagh, Gulzar Nagar in Bazar Khala, Old Sabzi Mandi and Khyaliganj in Qaiserbagh, Sadar in Cantonment and Residency in Wazirganj.

An additional SP, who in the past had been engaged in the drug eradication campaign, told HT that whenever there was pressure from the top cops to initiate drive against drug peddlers, the local police would send the drug agents to jail. But, the police would never really upset the selling chain that gave them their pound of flesh.