Mephedrone not being included under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) has proved to be a major stumbling block for the police force, which has been working hard to curb the menace. The police, therefore, has no option but to use the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to try and crack down on both consumers and peddlers.
But the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) believes it is just a temporary solution to what can become a serious challenge. Taking note of the rampant abuse of Mephedrone, the Mumbai police commissioner had recently asked police officers to book peddlers under section 328 of the IPC (selling poison).
This has led to all the 93 police stations registering cases across the city. A few police officials have even gone to the extent of booking peddlers by falsely showing the seized drugs are Methamphetamine, which is scheduled under NDPS Act.
“Booking a MD user or peddler under section 328 or showing MD as Methamphetamine is not a long-term solution because the investigation officers have to eventually face the court’s wrath during the trial for ‘framing’ an innocent person,” said an antinarcotics Cell (ANC) official, requesting anonymity.
Till date, the police have failed to catch a single major MD supplier, except one case of an ANC unit where a man was caught with 400g of MD.
“Just catching users or peddlers won’t curb the menace. If the police are serious about the problem, they have to crack down on the major suppliers,” says a narcotics control bureau officer.
The NCB officer said manufacturing the drug is easy and cheap.
“The components of Mephadrone are legally available. Manufacturers just need a small room to manufacture the drug by mixing the components in proper proportion. One kilogram of MD is being produced at the cost of Rs 12-15,000 and later it is being sold in the retail circuit for Rs 2 lakh per kg,” said Kumar Sanjay Jha, zonal director, narcotics control bureau, Maharashtra & Goa.
Narcotics sources believe the manufacturers have rented defunct units of some factories located in Vasai and are producing MD.
The police also believe the drug is being manufactured in some of the city’s slum pockets.