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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Border district Fatehabad fights the tough fight against drugs amid steady trickle of heroin and tablets

The police have come to know that many consumers of heroin have themselves turned to drug peddling too so they can afford to keep buying more.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Fatehabad | August 11, 2020 9:07:16 pm
RLF-100 drug, RLF-100 coronavirus, Covid drug, critical COVID-19 patients, Coronavirus vaccine, Indian expressThe challenge for the police is drugs in the form of tablets, which is also popular among smugglers and addicts because of its low cost in comparison to heroin. (Representational)

With almost 100 per cent of heroin and poppy husk being smuggled into Haryana coming from Delhi and bordering Rajasthan respectively, Fatehabad district is battling a tough fight against the drug mafia. Despite the police’s sustained campaign, there is an increasing popularity of costly heroin among young addicts.

Fatehabad SP Rajesh Kumar says recovery of heroin and intoxicant tablets has increased in the district in the past 4-5 years. “Because of bigger margin, smugglers intentionally promote heroin among youngsters, even offering it to them at cheaper prices,” said Kumar, a 2014 batch IPS officer of Haryana cadre.

Addicts turns peddlers

The police have come to know that many consumers of heroin have themselves turned to drug peddling too so they can afford to keep buying more to satiate their addiction. For example, police say, if a drug peddler buys 5 grams of heroin, they may sell 50 per cent of it to others. They further said that heroin is not available for less than Rs 800 per gram, even if it is purchased directly from Delhi, which is considered the hub of the heroin smuggling in the region.

Kumar said almost the entire supply of heroin originates from Delhi, and 50 per cent of it is supplied by African nationals. Referring to investigations by Delhi Police’s special cell, the Fatehabad SP said the drug is originally smuggled into India from Pakistan and Afghanistan and then distributed to different locations from Delhi.

“A person can get addicted to heroin even if he/she consumes it just 1-2 times. De-addiction is very difficult,” said Kumar.

This year, till August 8, police had recovered almost 6 kg heroin, which is more than double the recovery in the district during the corresponding period in 2019. Two police personnel of Uttar Pradesh and a few Nigerians were among the arrested. In two cases, the police recovered more than 900 grams heroin each time.

Popularity of tablets

The other challenge for the police is drugs in the form of tablets, which is also popular among smugglers and addicts because of its low cost in comparison to heroin. This year, almost one lakh tablets have been recovered in the district till date.

Police believe that the traditional form of drugs, opium and poppy husk is supplied to this district from neighbouring Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Till now, district police have recovered 25 kg opium in comparison to recovery of 21 kg opium in 2019. This year, 558 kg poppy husk has also been recovered till now.

Border-sharing

The poppy husk is transported to Haryana mainly from Rajasthan in heavy quantity through trucks. Smugglers take poppy husk to Punjab from Rajasthan via Haryana. Truck drivers of long routes are suspected to be involved in the smuggling of opium. Fatehabad police had also caught 10 kg opium which was to be supplied to Sirsa district from Jharkhand last month.

SP Kumar said police teams are consistently active on at least ten points here as the district shares its borders with Rajasthan and Punjab. “We are focusing on breaking the supply chain of drugs by catching more and more commercial quantity drugs, arresting suppliers and keeping continued watch on past offenders. For this campaign, we take inputs from common man too,” said the SP.

The rates of drugs have increased during the Covid lockdown because of its reduced availability following disturbance in its network. “We have caught suppliers of commercial heroin along with recoveries in big quantities to curb its supply,” added the SP.

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