The Silver triangle
THE FAILURE of the Narcotics Department and the local police, and the strengthening politician-drug mafia nexus, has brought drug trafficking into sharp focus in Uttar Pradesh. Post Afghanistan war drug barons were forced to abandon the lucrative trade in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They shifted base to Nepal, from where they directed operations in India and especially in two big cities of this state: Lucknow and Kanpur. The drug mafia often chooses Lucknow as a stopover; their political masters provide them support for the safe transaction of the consignment.Updated: Jun 11, 2006 00:00 IST
Starring: Inept drug sleuths, corrupt cops, and in the lead...the politician-drug mafia nexus
The well known routes — The Golden Crescent — Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan—and The Golden Triangle — Thailand, Myanmar and Laos — have been severely hit by the movement of the US Army in Afghanistan. It has given birth to a new route for drug trafficking, the Silver Triangle, comprising India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
THE FAILURE of the Narcotics Department and the local police, and the strengthening politician-drug mafia nexus, has brought drug trafficking into sharp focus in Uttar Pradesh.
Post Afghanistan war drug barons were forced to abandon the lucrative trade in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They shifted base to Nepal, from where they directed operations in India and especially in two big cities of this state: Lucknow and Kanpur. The drug mafia often chooses Lucknow as a stopover; their political masters provide them support for the safe transaction of the consignment.
These two cities have now turned into centers for modifying drugs, crude poppy and opium into heroin, hashish, morphine, smack and other designer drugs. This was already established in a major haul made by the special task force (STF) in Lucknow recently. Besides, two factories, where crude opium was being modified, were unearthed by the STF too.
The lynchpin arrested had revealed that Bangladeshi women (living in India) used to carry drug consignments in water containers. They would travel by trains and in connivance with the Government Railway Police (GRP) deliver the consignments in Kolkata.
From there, facilitated by the extremely porous borders and large volume of both legal and illegal trans-border movement, the drug would reach Bangladesh. This practice helps the drug mafia evade seizures of their consignments on the way.
Nepal-based smugglers, who are in contact with their links in the UAE, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and other South West Asian countries, send their consignment through major international air flights. According to a Narcotics Department official, Nigerians moving out of the country are make up the network spread from Addis Ababa to Lagos.
Intelligence reports, however, have established that Lucknow and Kanpur have become a stopover for trafficking of heroin and smack to South-West Asia. The report reveals that the traffickers have now provided all chemicals prohibited to the public and other articles essential for processing of crude opium into costly drugs, to their agents in these two cities.
But while the strict stance taken by US against terrorism might have forced the drug mafia to drastically reduce their operations elsewhere, it has given them the opportunity to regroup and search for greener pastures closer home, much to the discomfiture of the Uttar Pradesh police and the Narcotics department.
Despite having concrete information about the flourishing trade cops avoid the pain of tracking the movement of the mafia through Lucknow and Kanpur.
Meanwhile, in Allahabad,
The drug scenario in the district has reached alarming proportions. Rajapur, Unchwagadhi and Naini are said to be the hub of drug racket in the city.
Nasir, the kingpin in the district has a house in all three localities. His family too is involved in drug trafficking. Even though Nasir is in jail and his family has gone underground, the drug business continues.
Other areas where drug peddling has caught up include Akbarpur, Kareilly, Meerapur, Dhumanganj, Naini, Phulpur, Unchwagadhi and Imambara (parts of Rajapur locality), Ganga Nagar, Beli Kachar, Daraganj and Allahpur. A good number of addicts are involved in the drug sale, as they need money to have their daily dose. The main supply of drugs in Allahabad and neighbouring district is from Barabanki.
But cops have failed to control this menace because of political interference. To make a fast buck, some of the cops are involved in this racket and a few of them have their own gangs.
The consumption of narcotics by people of different age groups is an old practice here in Varanasi, which is a hub of different types of tourists through out the year.
The sleuths of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) have seized huge consignments of narcotics especially Ganja, Charas and Smack from the drug peddlers here.
Another intoxicant Bhanng (cannibis) is a common feature on Varanasi’s ghats.
People, including foreigners, are seen enjoying bhannag everywhere in the city.
There are reports that some guesthouses that have come up on the banks of Ganga, make narcotics available to their foreign clients against hefty payments.
The police, which remains busy in dealing with the rising crime and other routine law and order problems, ignores narcotics abuse.
THE CITY has a flourishing business of narcotics including smack, charas, afeem, cocaine and Heroin. A senior police official accepted that the police department has no solution to drug peddling.
Areas including Anwarganj, Kanjadanpurwa in Kidwai Nagar, Rawatpur gaon, Fazalganj and Kalyanpur have been converted into dens of drug trade.
Of late, Bithoor and Bhauti-based farmhouses have become synonymous with late night ‘trip’ parties. However, the middle and lower-middle class still prefer drugs like charas and smack and agents are active in almost every police station area.
According to a senior police official the drug racket’s reins are controlled by notorious hardcore criminals in Anwarganj and Fazalganj areas.
Being the transit point for Nepal and Bihar, Gorakhpur division is turning to be a safe heaven for drug peddlers. The enormity of the situation can be gauged by the fact that director general of Shasastra Seema Bal (SSB) Tilak Kak has admitted that SSB jawans deployed at the Indo Nepal border in Gorakhpur division have seized heroin and smack worth of Rs 80.73 lakh in the last three months. Besides, jawans have also seized valuable items including narcotics worth Rs 2.16 crore.
The business is flourishing in the city with the connivance of the police personnel and there are nearly half a dozen centres from where hawkers operate. Pappu Kabadi, a resident of Turkmanpur locality, continues to operate this business, even though one dozen cases of NDPS Act are lodged against him.
The city has a population of just one lakh but narcotics are sold at several points under the nose of police administration. Drugs are transported from Ghazipur and Bihar and are available over the counter at every medicine shop.