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Arrests aplenty, but cops fail to plug supply of drugs in Chandigarh

Buprenorphine and Pheniramine are two of the injections misused by drug peddlers to make a quick buck.

punjab Updated: Nov 17, 2017 10:30 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,drug supply,drug peddling
Unauthorised medical stores and chemist shops in villages often sell these drugs without prescription.(Representative image)

Despite their tall claims of cracking down on drug peddlers in the city, the Chandigarh police have failed to check smuggling of banned injections from Ambala and Saharanpur.

Considering the high returns — these injections are sold at three to four times their sale price — more and more drug peddlers are sourcing them. The police have already arrested 206 drug peddlers this year and seized 3,505 injections, pointing to the growing demand for these injectibles among drug users here. The highest recovery in recent years.

Banned for retail sale though used by rehabilitation centres, Buprenorphine and Pheniramine are two of the injections misused by drug peddlers to make a quick buck. As per the police these drugs cannot be sold without prescription.

Sources in the police say these injections are supplied mostly by addicts themselves. Though interrogations have revealed that the injections are sourced Ambala and Saharanpur, the police have failed to nab the suppliers.

Sources claim the sale of banned injections in the city, costing between Rs 250 and Rs 300, is on the rise in colonies and villages where people have less buying power.

DSP (Crime) Pawan Kumar said these are also popular with youngsters due to the affordable price. “Investigations have revealed that more youngsters from middle class families are hooked to these injections,” said Kumar, adding that these users are between 14 and 38 years of age.

He said, “We have been sharing information with our counterparts in Ambala and a few arrests have been made by them on basis of the same. The investigations have revealed that most drug suppliers are using Ambala city as point to hand over them to the suppliers from city.”

Unauthorised medical stores and chemist shops in villages often sell these drugs without prescription. Even meeting of the different CIA officials failed to yield results.

The UT police raised this issue at a regional meeting of CIA officials of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh in May, and asked their counterparts in Ambala to keep a check on pharmaceutical companies and chemist shops, selling the banned injections, but to no avail.

High profit margin drives smuggling

Vicky (20), of Dadumajra colony started peddling these drugs in 2015. His mother, Ram Kali, used to sell illicit liquor, but these drugs had a much higher profit margin. Vicky was arrested near Karan Taxi Stand, DMC, Chandigarh, on Wednesday , and 10 injections of Buprenorphine and Pheniramine Maleate were seized from him. He was booked under the NDPS Act in police station, Maloya, where he told the police that he had been sourcing these injections from Saharnpur and selling them to drug addicts for Rs 350 each.

In June this year, the police arrested Sonu, alias Kallu, 27, the kingpin of the gang that took orders for delivering these drugs on phone. Sonu, a resident of Dadumajra, who’d allegedly been peddling drugs from the age of 16, was nabbed with 14 grams of heroin and 196 injections without any labels near the Shahpur Colony light point. Like Vicky, Sonu’s mother, Kamla, also used to sell illicit liquor.

Sonu’s entire family, including his two sisters, Poonam and Nimmo, and wife Shakti, are also into drug trade. Poonam’s husband, Sikander, was held with a cache of banned injections earlier this year. The duo’s names were on the “black list” of 34 drug peddlers active in the city that the UT police submitted to the Punjab and Haryana high court on June 5.

Sonu’s elder sister Nimmo is also in jail after being caught with 5 kgs of ganja. His wife, Shakti, 27, too was arrested from near the fish market in Dadumajra with 15 gram heroin on June 10. She used to supply small pouches of heroin, like other six youths hired by her husband.

It was in July that the police arrested Ambala-based drug supplier, Gurdev Singh (64), with 150 injections from Sector 38. The police say that Gurdev, a truck driver from Ambala, had been peddling injections for the last six months.

He took to this business after the truck he had bought on loan was taken away by the financiers following his inability to pay the installments. Police allege he used to buy injections from Saharanpur at 40 per piece and sell them in the UT for 400 each. Since he was old and used a Kinetic to come to the city, the police never suspected him.

Dark spots identified, but no action

The police say the banned substances are being manufactured in parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Punjab.

The cops says the drug users are getting their supplies from Dhanas village, Milk Colony in Dhanas, Dadu Majra colony, Sector 38 (West), Sector 56, Bapu Dham, Manimajra, and Mauli Jagran.

First Published: Nov 17, 2017 10:29 IST