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Capital’s druglord

Sharafat Sheikh, widely known as the drug lord of Delhi and said to be behind 90 per cent of the drug trade in the Capital, is a rags-to-riches story, reports Tushar Srivastava.

delhi Updated: May 07, 2008 01:48 IST
Tushar Srivastava
Tushar Srivastava
Hindustan Times

Sharafat Sheikh, widely known as the drug lord of Delhi and said to be behind 90 per cent of the drug trade in the Capital, is a rags-to-riches story.

Lodged at Tihar Jail, Sheikh was booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) by the Delhi Police in July 2005 and has been booked twice previously under the National Security Act. Sheikh is suspected to have close links with the Mumbai drug cartel allegedly run by mafia don Dawood Ibrahim.

Sheikh came to Delhi from Kishanganj, Bihar in 1985, washed utensils at a guesthouse and worked as a newspaper hawker to earn a living.

He later started dealing as a scrap dealer and dealing with stolen goods. Subsequently, he started selling drugs. Since then it has been no looking back for the man.

Sheikh, according to the Delhi Police, allegedly lured young children into the racket by getting them hooked to drugs. He, later, used these children as safe drug carriers for spreading his illicit network. Such is his network in the area that seldom police raids succeeded since the people living in the slums were loyal to him and tipped him off in the event of a police raid.

Sheikh built a huge mansion in Nizamuddin, which he named Bihar Bhawan. It is even rumored that the house has several tunnels, which connect to the nearby slum clusters and whenever police tried to raid him, he managed to evade arrest by escaping through the tunnels.

Over the years, Sheikh cultivated various politicians and police officers. One of his three wives even contested the municipal elections.

The narco-don soon developed other interests and branched out. He was acting as a foreign car dealer in Mumbai. He is said to have close relations with several film stars and reportedly gifted a Land Cruiser to a top actor. Sheikh had also emerged as one of the biggest diamond merchants in Delhi and is said to be worth over Rs 200 crore.

“He owns properties in Mumbai and Haryana. His other house in Mumbai is also called Bihar Bhawan. He owns a restaurant and bars in Mumbai and showrooms in Delhi and Mumbai,” a senior crime branch officer said.

“He was booked twice under the NSA but both times given bail. Police have attached his nine properties and seized vehicles owned by him. At present he has been booked under MCOCA by police but the allegations are baseless,” said R.D. Rana, Sheikh’s counsel.