Cops step up hunt for woman drug peddlerhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/cops-step-up-hunt-for-woman-drug-peddler/

Cops step up hunt for woman drug peddler

Shashikala, alias Baby Ramesh Patankar, has been on the wanted list of the Manikpur police for the past four months.

While the Mumbai Police are intensifying their pursuit of 50-year-old Shashikala Patankar, the elusive drug dealer now wanted in relation with the seizure of over 100 kg of mephedrone from the home of a Mumbai Police constable, the Manikpur police in the far suburbs have also been on the lookout for the woman, believed to be behind more than 50 per cent of the drugs supplied in the Vasai-Virar belt.

Shashikala, alias Baby Ramesh Patankar, has been on the wanted list of the Manikpur police for the past four months.

Police say Patankar was the main supplier of meth and mephedrone in the region, nearly 40 km from Mumbai. She had been named by a drug peddler in January. “In fact, most drug peddlers arrested in the past year had revealed that they had got the consignment of drugs from a dealer in Worli” said KS Hegaje, senior police inspector of Manikpur police station.

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Hegaje said whenever they arrested a meth peddler he would say he had got the contraband from a dealer from South Mumbai. It was in January when Vijay Pal Singh alias Pape, a notorious drug peddler, revealed that he and many other peddlers in the Vasai-Virar belt got the Meth contraband from Worli village from a woman dealer that the Manikpur police zeroed in on Patankar. An FIR was lodged.

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Investigators found that Pape stayed indoors all day, even asking his garbage collector to lock his door from the outside. At night he would go out hawking his contraband. Pape was arrested.

Hegaje said they had sent a team to Worli koliwada to the woman’s address more than three times but every time, she was not present. “Patankar may have met the Punjab cop through arrested Mumbai police constable Dharmaraj Kalokhe,” said Hegaje.

After the arrest of Kalokhe, an inquiry set up by the Mumbai Police to probe the seizure of 12 kg of mephedrone from inside Marine Drive police station found that Kalokhe had been in a relationship with Patankar.

megha.sood@expressindia.com