A vendor displays wallets made from replica prints of the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes at a stall in Mumbai.(AFP File Photo)
A vendor displays wallets made from replica prints of the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes at a stall in Mumbai.(AFP File Photo)

Demonetisation effect: Himachal narcotics trade hit hard, peddlers hunt for cash

Narcotics peddlers in Himachal Pradesh are reeling under the impact of demonetisation and finding it difficult to sell their stock in the absence of higher-value currency, according to officials in charge of cracking down on the illegal trade.
By Gaurav Bisht | Hindustan Times, Shimla
UPDATED ON NOV 23, 2016 09:29 AM IST

Narcotics peddlers in Himachal Pradesh are reeling under the impact of demonetisation and finding it difficult to sell their stock in the absence of higher-value currency, according to officials in charge of cracking down on the illegal trade.

What’s more, some peddlers have apparently been forced to look at using the banking machinery and even making online payments, while trying not to attract attention.

Incidentally, demonetisation has closely followed the state’s annual drive against the drug trade. Since the launch of the drive in September, the government has destroyed more than 35 million psychoactive plants grown across nearly 30,000 bighas of land.

“There is a lull in narcotics trade in Himachal since the demonetisation move. Peddlers are busy exchanging old currency bills for new ones. Some of them are also making online payments,” said Kaustav Sharma, Regional Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau, Chandigarh. “There is no data to analyse it, but our sources say peddlers are busy converting money. There are reports that some of them are investing in properties.”

Sharma added, “Recently we apprehended two persons from banks when they were trying to cash cheques given to them by drug peddlers.” He declined to share details of the operations.

Police corroborated witnessing a decline in the narcotics trade. “It’s difficult to assess the impact since it’s all illegal, but demonetisation has had an impact,” said Padam Chand, superintendent of police, Kullu. “The drug detection rate is the same as before demonetisation, but quantity of seizure from peddlers now is much less.”

Kullu’s BJP legislator Maheshwar Singh, scion of the erstwhile Kullu dynasty, said, “Demonetisation has had its impact on the prices of locally produced charas (name given to the hashish form of cannabis). Peddlers are finding it difficult to sell their stock as new currency is limited. I have told people of Malana village to deposit their savings in the bank.”

Malana village in Kullu is famous for its high-quality charas produce, Malana Cream, which won the world’s best hashish title twice at a cannabis festival held by a magazine. But Malana residents are reluctant to talk about charas or drug money.

“Whatever money we have is being deposited in the bank,” said Bhagi Ram, head of Malana panchyat. “Since the nearest bank from the village is 35 km away, people usually keep money with themselves,” he added, steering clear of any talk about drug money.

The valleys of Kullu, famous for natural splendour, are also notorious for cannabis cultivation. “Apart from Kullu and Manali, Kasol and Sainj have emerged as new trading centres for selling charas,” said Sharma.

Agencies involved in anti-drug campaign value the annual drug trade in the state at Rs 2,000 crore, while insisting that it is a conservative estimate.

Kullu and Manali towns have gained notoriety for drug peddling backed by international cartels. During the drive against drug trade this year, police came across cannabis plants unlike any they had seen. “In some places, the cannabis plants were more than 12-ft high. It was unusual. Indian cannabis does not grow to this extent,” said deputy inspector general of police (crime) Vinod Dhawan, who was once the district police chief of Kullu.

Police believe locals dabbling in the trade cultivated hybrid seeds brought in by foreigners.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Another senior official said on condition of anonymity that the second half of the session, which starts on Monday, may run for just two weeks.(PTI)
Another senior official said on condition of anonymity that the second half of the session, which starts on Monday, may run for just two weeks.(PTI)

2nd half of Budget session may be cut short due to state polls

By Saubhadra Chatterji, Sunetra Choudhury, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:40 AM IST
  • An official said that both Houses could meet at 11 am from the second week following the vaccination of eligible MPs.
Close
Bodies of the man and his son were found in the house while the bodies of the three woman were found near the house, the official added.
Bodies of the man and his son were found in the house while the bodies of the three woman were found near the house, the official added.

Five of family found dead in Chhattisgarh

By Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times, Raipur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:27 AM IST
  • A suicide note found at the spot said they took the decision because of acute financial distress, an official said.
Close
Parliament in September 2020 approved an Ordinance promulgated in June to improve revenue from the mining sector and the Centre now wants states to carry out these changes too.(REUTERS)
Parliament in September 2020 approved an Ordinance promulgated in June to improve revenue from the mining sector and the Centre now wants states to carry out these changes too.(REUTERS)

Govt plan to take over mine auctions faces opposition from a few states

By Chetan Chauhan, Gerard de Souza, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Goa
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:21 AM IST
  • The changes have been opposed by some states who see it as another attempt by the Centre to take over mining auctions and impose central rules on a state domain.
Close
India must rapidly build and nurture grassroots-based habitat monitoring and governance.(Representational Photo/HT File)
India must rapidly build and nurture grassroots-based habitat monitoring and governance.(Representational Photo/HT File)

India must strive to catch the ecological bus

By Bharati Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:16 AM IST
  • A re-invigorated biodiversity management policy is India’s survival strategy. At this point in our development trajectory, we don’t pay any heed to either biodiversity or landscape conservation.
Close
Satellite image of NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System of forest fires.(Courtesy- NASA)
Satellite image of NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System of forest fires.(Courtesy- NASA)

Early summer, lack of rain spark fires

By Jayashree Nandi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 12:10 AM IST
  • According to Forest Survey of India’s forest fire alert system, there were 2,317 fire points last year between February 26 and March 7, but the figure rose to 53,211 this time after data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) was taken into account.
Close
Selvi at the age of 32 rappelled down blindfolded from a 155 feet high rock mountain in a Tamil Nadu village(Representative Image )
Selvi at the age of 32 rappelled down blindfolded from a 155 feet high rock mountain in a Tamil Nadu village(Representative Image )

Woman, 32, mother of two rappels down 155-feet mountain blindfolded in 58 sec

ANI, Kancheepuram
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:54 PM IST
The record was entered in the UNICO Book of World Records and was certified by an official adjudicator R. Sivaraman.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

24-yr-old man gets death for rape, murder of 5-yr-old boy

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:10 PM IST
Rudrapur A 24-year-old man has been awarded death penalty for sodomising and murdering a 5-year-old boy in Uttarakhand’s US Nagar district in 2019
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Every breach of promise to marry doesn’t mean rape: SC

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:10 PM IST
New Delhi A charge of rape is not applicable in every case where a man does not marry his girlfriend after a promise, the Supreme Court has held
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Rights and wrongs of the LAC conflict clear: China

By Sutirtho Patranobis
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:09 PM IST
Beijing China said on Sunday that New Delhi and Beijing should not undercut or be suspicious of each other, but added that the rights and wrongs of what happened at the Line of Actual Control last year were clear, appearing to again put the blame on India for the worst military standoff between the two countries in decades
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Women are not pleading, they’re leading: Smriti Irani

By Vinod Sharma
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:57 PM IST
New Delhi: On the eve of the International Women’s Day, union minister for women and child development Smriti Irani spoke to HT on the challenges and opportunities the women have in the country, her role as a minister and the BJP’s battle axe against the Congress
Close
"The state government is taking a series of measures to take women on the path of development and progress," K Chandrasekhar Rao said. (HT File photo)
"The state government is taking a series of measures to take women on the path of development and progress," K Chandrasekhar Rao said. (HT File photo)

Telangana government declares holiday for women employees on Women's Day

ANI, Hyderabad, Telangana
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:55 PM IST
"Women are competing with men in all the fields and are excelling. Women, who constitute 50 per cent of the population, would do wonders if they were given a chance," Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said.
Close
Mohammed Muthu Meeran Maraickayar died on Sunday(ANI Photo )
Mohammed Muthu Meeran Maraickayar died on Sunday(ANI Photo )

APJ Abdul Kalam's brother Mohammed Muthu Meeran passes way at 104

PTI, Rameswaram
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:48 PM IST
Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam conveyed condolences over Mohammed Muthu Meeran's demise.
Close
Indian Air Force (IAF) wing commander Shaliza Dhami(ANI Photo )
Indian Air Force (IAF) wing commander Shaliza Dhami(ANI Photo )

Aircraft doesn't know if man or woman officer is flying it: IAF’s Shaliza Dhami

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:35 PM IST
During the Budget Session in Parliament last month, the government informed that the headcount of women in the military has increased almost three-fold over the last six years.
Close
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait addresses during the ongoing farmer protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi on Sunday.(ANI Photo)
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait addresses during the ongoing farmer protest against the new farm laws, in New Delhi on Sunday.(ANI Photo)

Will hold meeting with Kolkata farmers on March 13: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:22 PM IST
When asked about the stalemate between farmers and the Centre even after more than 100 days, Tikait said that the government, sooner or later, will have to pay heed to farmers' issues.
Close
"They are not at all a challenge (to the party leadership. They have said their leaders are Sonia and Rahul Gandhi," Singh said referring to the G-23.(HT file photo)
"They are not at all a challenge (to the party leadership. They have said their leaders are Sonia and Rahul Gandhi," Singh said referring to the G-23.(HT file photo)

No leadership challenge from G-32 leaders, says Digvijaya Singh

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:52 PM IST
These leaders, also being called G-23, had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi seeking dissolution of power to state units, revamp of the CWC etc, and had recently held a meet in Jammu.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP