SINCE THE beginning of December, IIT-Kanpur has been conducting surprise checks in its hostels and across the campus to curb the use of drugs among students. It has also roped in the local police to trace peddlers allegedly involved in supplying drugs to students.
The drive began after IIT authorities received complaints about unauthorised persons visiting the campus, carrying drugs. The institute has now started holding counselling sessions for students to make them aware of the hazards of drug consumption, besides displaying posters in hostels containing awareness messages.
IIT-K Registrar K K Tiwari said: “Around four or five months ago, we came across complaints about the presence of some unauthorised persons on the campus and that they were frequenting the hostels. We found a few of them carrying drugs. During questioning, the suspects revealed that a security guard from the campus was their accomplice. Following this, we started conducting surprise checks.”
“While the guard was sacked and arrested, security was beefed up to keep a vigil on such activities… we have found that drugs are being again being supplied to the campus,” he added.
“The problem is that people from nearby villages take the road inside the institute to go to the city, finding it to be the shortest route. It is difficult for us to stop them or frisk everyone,” Tiwari said.
He maintained that while the institute was capable of handling the drug menace on its own, its jurisdiction is limited to the campus only. “Therefore, we needed police help to identify outsiders involved in supplying drugs to the campus… Students are our responsibility.. but we need the police to help us identify elements who have a police record in drug peddling and could be involved in our campus… We need the administration share information with us so that we can also take action,” he said.
Manindra Agarwal, Officiating Director of the IIT, while refusing to say how many students have been found using drugs, claimed most use marijuana. Drugs like smack and charas too are be used by some, he added. “We have observed that drug consumption in the institute has increased in the last few years…,”Agarwal said.
When contacted, Kanpur SSP Akhilesh Kumar, said police teams, headed by SP (West), have been set up to keep a check on drug peddlers and also to arrest those involved in the racket at IIT. “With the institute’s cultural fest coming to an end recently, there has been a rise in such activities. A few months ago, a security guard of the IIT was arrested for supplying drugs. It is not possible from drugs to enter the campus without the help of someone inside. We are trying to identify all those involved in the racket,” he added.