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13-month-old to stay in Punjab jail with Nigerian mom caught with drugs

Roita, 38 and compatriot Jude Justine, 35, were arrested on a tip-off by the Special Task Force (STF), Mohali, with 50 gram of cocaine, 50 gram of heroin and Rs 40,000 in cash at a naka near Mauli chowk in Sector 80, Mohali, on Wednesday.

punjab Updated: Apr 21, 2018 09:32 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
baby in jail,toddler in jail,Nigerian mom
The mother of the 13-month-old boy had come to India on medical visa about six months back, and is now facing allegations of supplying drugs to students staying in Mohali and neighbouring areas.(Representative image )

He’s just 13 months old, a shy and chubby baby intently gazing at faces around him, smiling, unaware of the fact that he would have to spend an indefinite amount of time in prison. That’s until his mother Roita, a Nigerian national arrested for drug possession, gets bail. It’s something which could take months or even years.

Roita, 38 and compatriot Jude Justine, 35, were arrested on a tip-off by the Special Task Force (STF), Mohali, with 50 gram of cocaine, 50 gram of heroin and Rs 40,000 in cash at a naka near Mauli chowk in Sector 80, Mohali, on Wednesday.

The mother of the 13-month-old boy had come to India on medical visa about six months back, and is now facing allegations of supplying drugs to students staying in Mohali and neighbouring areas. She, her husband Opone and partner Justine live in a rented apartment in Sector 80, Mohali.Opone is at large.

The police on Thursday moved an application seeking two-day police remand for the duo. But a district court, taking into account the plight of the baby, sent the accused to judicial custody.

“Justine and Roita live on rent in Sector 80, Mohali, and were selling drugs that Opone sourced from Delhi in the Mohali area,” RS Soha, superintendent of police, STF, said.

STF personnel recovered an electronic weighing machine with 10 empty polythene packets, likely to have been used to weigh and pack drugs.

Roita, STF sources said, had claimed she was dealing in ready-made garments bought from Delhi, but failed to provide evidence. The accused were paying Rs 18,000 as rent every month but were unable to show any source of income, a police official associated with the investigation said.

A case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act has been registered against the two at the STF police station in Phase 4, Mohali.

Also, as both Roita and Justine failed to provide valid visas and passports, they were booked under the Foreigners’ Act. Roita told the team of STF Mohali that she had deposited her passport with the embassy for renewal of her visa, while Justine said he had lost his passport.

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 10:05 IST