The Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Mumbai police recently submitted an application in the Esplanade magistrate’s court seeking permission for pre-trial disposition of over 5,000 kg of narcotic drugs lying in its godown since 2007.
A senior ANC official said getting rid of drugs became imperative due to space constraint at its godown located behind the Azad Maidan police station.
But trials in most cases are yet not over and till then, the ANC cannot get dispose of the drugs stored in its godown. Continuous arrests and seizures made by the ANC officials have made it even more difficult for the department to store fresh muddemaal (case property).
“These drugs have been lying there for over four years now. We cannot dispose of the drugs unless we receive orders from the court to do so and the order is given only when the trial is over,” said a senior ANC officer requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to the media.
Over 1,000 kg of charas, 3,500 kg of ganja, among other drugs have been lying in the godown since 2007.
Sources said that personnel deployed to guard the godown often complained of pungent odour emanating from the drugs stored there.
This odour made it difficult for them to discharge their duties and many of them opted out.
Sunil Paraskar, deputy commissioner of police, ANC, confirmed that the agency has been appealing to the courts to grant them permission to dispose of the drugs on a pre-trial basis and during the appeal period.
Paraskar, however, claimed that storage of seized narcotics was not a problem as space was not a constraint.
“But the existing stock should be disposed of at the earliest,” he added.
Paraskaralso dismissed reports that the stench of the seized narco was dissuading personnel from guarding the godown.
“I have not yet received any complaints regarding inconvenience by any policeman,” he said.
Paraskar agreed though that ganja leaves foul stench, but it did not have any adverse effect on health.
The ANC, however, will have to wait for court sanctions to get rid of the drugs.