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Now, policemen stake out ?high? fashion

india Updated: Sep 01, 2006 11:13 IST
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THE DELHI Police were perhaps never so interested in a fashion show as in the India Fashion Week (IFW). And they are there on some serious business: looking for drugs. Particularly, cocaine and ecstasy -- the partygoer's favourites.

The police suspect drug peddlers too will be out there (sources say it is roaring at such events) and hope to crack a high-end drug racket.

For the purpose, a team of Delhi Police's narcotics branch — savvy and trained to easily mingle with partygoers — is closely following every development at the India Fashion Week, be it the fashion shows or the post-show parties. A.S. Cheema, DCP (narcotics), confirmed his men were keeping a tab on the proceedings. "Whenever there is any information, we follow it up," Cheema said.

Sources in the police said fashion weeks, like rave parties, were ready-made markets for peddlers and provided the ideal cover for the buyer and the seller.

"We've information that peddlers do brisk business during this time and this is why we have specially training our men who can easily blend with the crowd.

Also, we have our informers at work," a senior police officer said.

But the idea of keeping a close watch at the India Fashion Week is not about catching someone red-handed. "It's basically following certain leads from past cases. Our experience says that such places attract a lot of people who cannot be spotted otherwise, be it some high-profile peddler, user or middleman," a source said.

Several drug peddlers arrested last year revealed that their clients were mostly partygoers in discs and pubs. The police too have recovered phone numbers of high-profile customers from the diaries and cellphones of peddlers. But the evidence was not enough to nail them. And they are searching for more at the IFW.

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