Though the Delhi Police has busted various drug syndicates during past one year, drug peddlars have managed to sell contraband to the youngsters and addicts whose number has been increasing.
The use of drugs such as hashish and cannabis (ganja) among youngster is now underscoring a major concern in a city. Called as “maal, samaan or babaji ki booti”, these drugs are easily available at various hotspots, which include JJ clusters and parks. The drugs are also being supplied to youngsters by guards in schools. The Pioneer team visited these JJ clusters and found that these drugs and illicit liquor are sold openly in these colonies without any fear of authorities.
The team first visited JJ cluster in Chattarpur near 100 ft road where narrow lanes leads to a woman who sits on a khaat (cot) and openly sells ganja and illicit liquor. The ganja is sold in packets starting from Rs 100 per pack whereas alcohol quarter is sold for Rs 50.
“We don’t have another business to do. This is easy earning and once a buyer is here, he will come again to buy the stuff,” said the women on anonymity, adding that most of the people come to buy drugs are youngsters.
She also said that whenever there is a shortage in ganja, other peddlers in the area specifically reduce quantity and sell drugs by mixing “Avil” salt and chemicals. “The salt is available easily. Some peddlers mix this salt, so that the drug can leave a positive effect on buyer that the quality is good, but I don’t sell that way,” she said.
The Pioneer then visited Neb Sarai, Freedom Fighter colony, gate no-4, where the correspondent spoke to people who pointed out a general store who sells these drugs.
Posing as a buyer, the correspondent asked the shop owner to give a packet of ganja. The shop owner pointed towards a street near his shop and asked to wait there.
As the peddler returned, he asked what would we like to buy — ganja or heroin, adding: “heroin would cost you Rs 300 for 1 gram and a small packet of ganja would cost Rs 100 while a quarter of illicit liquor is sold for Rs 100.”
As per The Pioneer investigation, Neb Sarai and Chattarpur are not only areas in the city where drugs are being sold under the nose of police, Madan Giri, Subhash Nagar, RK Puram, INA, Khirki Extension, Malviya Nagar, Munirka and JJ clusters in Jahangirpuri, Dwarka, Uttam Nagar and Rohini are also the hotspots for these drug peddlers and distributors. Most peddlers and distributors also operate in areas close to North Campus such as Majnu Ka Tila, Kashmere Gate, Indra Vikas opposite Nirankari colony and Shastri Park. According to the police, drugs are sold outside colleges and near pubs in South Delhi.
According to police data, in 2018, around 196 kilograms (kg) of heroin and smack were recovered by police whereas 51 kg were recovered in 2017. Around 4,272 kg of ganja was recovered by police in 2018, double as compared to 2017 which was 2,415 kg.
According to a senior police official, interrogation reports of the arrested men indicate that a majority of the drug users are school and college students, apart from criminals, who are into smack and other cheap stuff.
“Most of the robber and snatchers caught by Delhi Police are addicted to drugs and are youngster. Just to fulfill the need for drugs these youngsters commits crimes. They stole items and sell them at throw away rates to people,” said the senior police official.
“These drugs are easily available in JJ clusters in the city. I would say the youngsters are easily prone to such addictions and once addicted, these youngsters buy it again and even commit crimes. One of the biggest reasons for the rise in juvenile delinquents is due to the substance abuse amongst teenagers,” said Vijay Dangi, an advocate.
Dr Nand Kumar, professor, Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS said that the drugs like cannabis LSD, MDMA have become very common amongst the youngsters. These substances are more harmful because of its social sanctions, he said.
“The Alcih inhibits the brain and dulls the central nervous system and diminished the reflexes of the brain, leading to higher chances of road accidents and violence. Unfortunately, cannabis is being promoted for recreational use in some countries and being used by youngster in India. The worst part of cannabis is that it precipitates “marked behavioural” changes and sense of alters reality leading to abnormal behaviours and anger outburst,” said Dr Nand Kumar.
“The most effective way to prevent the abuse of the substance is at the policy level by the Government. It is pertinent to mention here that there are person at policy level who believes that cannabis should be legalised,” Dr Kumar added.