CRACKDOWN BEGINS | india | Hindustan Times
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CRACKDOWN BEGINS

THE MYSTERY around Thursday night's party at the residence of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan has cleared a little. Apollo Hospital has done a U-turn and says traces of cocaine have been found in the urine sample of Rahul Mahajan; the Delhi Police say Sahil Zarru, the 21-year-old Kashmiri who is under arrest, got the drug; a Nigerian national, Abdullah, has been picked up for allegedly supplying the cocaine to Zarru.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 01:22 IST

Sahil arrested, Nigerian drug peddler detained, Apollo changes (updates) version to save face

THE MYSTERY around Thursday night's party at the residence of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan has cleared a little.

Apollo Hospital has done a U-turn and says traces of cocaine have been found in the urine sample of Rahul Mahajan; the Delhi Police say Sahil Zarru, the 21-year-old Kashmiri who is under arrest, got the drug; a Nigerian national, Abdullah, has been picked up for allegedly supplying the cocaine to Zarru.

Apollo's about-turn came a day after it categorically ruling out the presence of "all identifiable drugs" in Rahul's urine sample. On Sunday, saying traces of cocaine were found in the tests, it said the amount was "well within permissible limits".

On Saturday, Dr Anupam Sibal, medical director, Apollo Hospital, had said Rahul's samples tested negative for more than 15 drugs. The same set of samples was then sent to Dr Lal Pathological Laboratory for quantitative tests. At Dr Lal's, the urine samples tested positive for opiates, benzodiazipine, cannabinoids, cocaine (3.9 units) and barbiturates.

But toxicology experts said it was just about impossible that the above-mentioned drugs could have gone undetected at the hospital. "Considering the fact that benzodiazipine and barbiturates levels were high, state-of-the-art technology is not required to detect the drugs," said Dr Anoop Misra, senior consultant, internal medicine, Fortis Hospital.

Doctors at Apollo hospital said traces of the "cocktail of drugs" found in the Dr Lal's tests did not show in Apollo's tests as they were under permissible limits.
Reacting to the quantitative analysis by Dr Lal's laboratory, Dr Karan Thakur, spokesperson, Apollo Hospitals, said that it was "normal" to have that much cocaine in the system. "We stand by our reports. The qualitative analysis does not detect drugs unless they're present in high quantity. 3.9 units is practically negative and hence, acceptable," said Thakur. 

About the Thursday night party, the Delhi Police said it was Zarru who got the drug for Rahul and Vivek Moitra.

Additional DCP Manish Aggarwal said Zarru's interrogation was at a "preliminary" stage.

"He was very much there and he had got the drugs for them. That is what he has disclosed," said Aggarwal.

The police, he said, could not take Rahul's statement as he was declared "unfit" by Apollo Hospital. Brought from Srinagar where he was arrested on Saturday, Sahil, the 21-year-old son of a Kashmiri businessman, was interrogated by the Delhi Police for four nearly four hours. He was later produced before a local court which remanded him in police custody till June 12.

On Saturday night, the police had also picked up Abdullah from Munirka village in southwest Delhi. Sources said Sahil told the police that it was Abdullah who provided him drugs on Thursday and that he would regularly buy drugs from the Nigerian.

The police said they had detained some drug peddlers but no arrests had been made so far.

Police sources said besides Abdullah, the other peddlers being questioned included David (a Nigerian who allegedly supplies drugs to Abdullah), Samuel (a Nigerian who went with Abdullah to deliver the drug to Sahil) and one Siddharth Nag.

Raids are on to arrest another Nigerian, Saifullah, who is allegedly the leader of the gang.