The Mumbai police units of the anti-narcotics cell (ANC), along with crime branch units, have formed teams to find Shashikala alias Baby Patankar, 50, one of the key drug suppliers in the city who allegedly supplied Mephedrone to the Marine Drive constable.
During interrogations, Dharma Kalokhe had claimed that Patankar had supplied him with the 124 kg of MD (112 kgs were recovered from Satara and 12 kgs from a cupboard in Marine drive police station).
Kalokhe has been arrested by the Satara police under the NDPS Act. Even the Mumbai police have registered a case under the NDPS Act at the Marine drive police station against Kalokhe. He was also charged as a consumer as 2 gram of Opium was also found in his cupboard at the Marine Drive police station.
Following the seizure, senior inspector of Marine Drive police station, Pravin Chinchalkar, was transferred to Special Branch I, considered to be a side branch. The move was termed as an administrative transfer.
A team of Satara police led by Deepak Humbare, deputy superintendent of police (Satara), is currently camping in the city to arrest Patankar.
According to sources, the police have also raided a farmhouse in Lonavala, which belongs to Patankar.
Patankar allegedly stepped into the drug market 15 years ago, probably after the death of her husband. She lives in a four-room house atop a hill in Worli’s Siddharth Nagar along with her two sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.
Initially, she maintained a low profile. However, later she started dealing on a large scale. Her name first came on the police’s record after the ANC unit of the Azad Maidan police arrested her in a Marijuana peddling case in 2001. She was later acquitted in the case.
After Marijuana, Patankar allegedly started dealing in Gard – a cheap local drug.
Only in the recent years, she has started dealing in Meph. If sources are to be believed, Patankar is the one who introduced MD in the Mumbai’s drug market.
Police sources said to cover her drug trafficking activities, Patankar runs a small transport business and has half-a-dozen vehicles. Investigators are probing if she used these vehicles for drug trafficking.
Sources said Patankar pumped her allegedly ill-gotten money in several flats across Mumbai. Apart from this, she also owns a farmhouse in Lonavala, which was raided.
It is also said it was Patankar’s tip-off that helped Mumbai crime branch bust a drug trafficking racket and arrest assistant commissioner of police Ashok Dhawale, 53, posted at the director general’s office in 2011.
Dhawale was arrested in Worli for allegedly carrying 2kg of brown sugar in his official police vehicle.
A local drug peddler Munna, 45, was also arrested then.
Sources also say the drug mafia also enjoys good rapport with a local political party which has a strong hold in the area. Her photos with known local political leaders can be seen in her Siddharth Nagar residence.