As many as 917 people were arrested and 897 seizures of narcotics were made in Chandigarh in the last five years. A scrutiny revealed that the seizure of narcotics substances, especially heroin, charas and capsules, which cannot be sold without a valid prescription, has witnessed a rise in the five years, between January 1, 2016 and September 20, 2020.
All the recorded seizures were made in Chandigarh, while the drug peddlers were arrested by the Chandigarh police independently. Most of the suspects are local residents.
The seized narcotics include heroin, smack, charas, ganja, hash, weed, opium, tablets and capsules along with injections of bupernorphine and pheniramine meleate, which cannot be sold without the valid prescription of a qualified physician. The substance bupernorphine is an opioid used to treat opioid disorder. Meanwhile, pheniramine meleate is used for treating allergic ailments, but it has strong sedative effects and hence, addicts take it.
The maximum seizures, 244 out of total 897, were made and peddlers, 244 out of 917, were arrested in 2017. In 2016, 146 seizures were made and 157 people were arrested. Further, 178 seizures were made and 182 peddlers were arrested in 2018 and in 2019, 226 seizures were made and 226 peddlers were arrested. In 2020, upto September 20, 103 seizures have been made and 108 people, including nine chemist shopkeepers, have been arrested.
Sources in the crime branch said, “Chandigarh is a transit point for drug trafficking. The consumption in Chandigarh is comparatively lower than other mega cities, including Ludhiana, Amritsar, Delhi, Goa, among others. There are cases in which peddlers were arrested here, but most of their customers were based outside Chandigarh. Indeed, making easy and quick money is also one of the reasons behind the increased drug peddling. For instance, each injection of bupernorphine and pheniramine meleate costs around Rs 75 to Rs 85, but peddlers sell these to addicts for upto Rs 150 and Rs 200. Similarly, charas, smack, heroin are being sold on the basis of grams. Drug peddlers procured these substances less than the commercial quantity to avoid stricter punishment in the court of law.”
Associate Professor with Panjab University’s Psychiatrist department, Dr Roshan Lal said, “The increasing seizure reflects different trends including the increasing demand, consumption and dependence of people on peddling for earning a livelihood. Increasing feeling of loneliness, nuclear families and a tendency of experiment with drugs are some of the trends related to narcotics. Parents, society, educational institutes have a big responsibility of curbing drug addiction in society.”
SSP (UT) Vinit Kumar said, “We are focusing on the suppliers, then the peddlers and consumers. In the last three years, from 2017 to 2019, we have achieved success. So many foreign nationals, including Nigerians who traveled from Delhi to Chandigarh to supply the drugs, were arrested. Indeed, there are repeated offenders also among the overall arrested peddlers. The interrogation of petty criminals, who are also addicts, is very crucial to nab the peddlers and suppliers.”
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