Indian Railways, the most popular form of public transportation, connecting people across the length and breadth of the country has of late in the city gained notoriety as a safe haven for drug peddlers. The city railway station, one of the main stations of northern railways, with a daily footfall of over 70,000 people, has witnessed a spate of drug seizures in the last few months and has put the scourge of drugs in the spotlight.
Government Railways Police (GRP) has recovered total of 167.5 kg of different kinds of narcotics in the last three months at the Ludhiana railway station meant for distribution across the state.
The 167.5 kg narcotic includes 4 kg opium, 15 kg poppy husk, 23.5 kg hashish and 125 kg of marijuana (ganja).
In these three months, GRP has also recovered 48 bottles of illicit liquor and 132 bottles of legal liquor at the station.
Inderjit Singh, SHO, GRP Ludhiana, said the railways are the main means of transportation through which the drugs are being transported from one state to another. He informed that these drugs mainly come from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, to be distributed in different parts of Punjab.
There’s a spurt in supply of marijuana, the cheapest and most sought after drug. The supply of cannabis, which is also known as marijuana, seems to be on an increase with government railway police recovering 125 kg marijuana in just three months of 2017. It is 96.75 kg more than the average marijuana recovered in three months of the last year. Last year, GRP had recovered 113 kg marijuana, which makes an average of 28.25 kg per three months.
“Marijuana is mainly consumed by the people who migrated here from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar,” said Inderjit.
Sources informed that Marijuana is cheapest in comparison to other drugs. It is being sold for ₹50 to ₹100 per packet. Sources confirmed that it is available at the lowest price near the railway station area, being purchased mostly by the beggars, rickshaw pullers and labourers.
“We have our sources, who inform us about the drugs being transported in the city and the persons coming by train. Moreover, our force is also conducting regular checks at the station,” Singh said.
Singh added that the menace of drugs in the state can only stop if one destroys the root of the menace.
“We can only catch the accused and try to find the source from where he brought the drugs and where he was going to sell it. But these accused are only courier men, who indulge in such work for the sake of money. They are not even aware about the main person for whom they work,” Singh mentioned.
He further said, “After the accused is caught, we seal the narcotic seized, present the accused before the court and later as per the court’s order, we destroy the drugs.”
Recent narcotic seizures
On April 12, GRP recovered 20 kg marijuana from two natives of Bihar at the city railway station. On April 3, 1 kg opium and 1kg marijuana was recovered from a Jharkhand native and earlier on March 12, 3 kg marijuana was recovered from Nanak Ram (50), of Churu district in Rajasthan. Such peddlers who come here to sell the drugs are caught after every second week at the station.