A DAY after Mid Day exposed a flourishing drug racket operating from an inconspicuous Municipal Garbage bin, situated barely a few metres away from Nityanada High School in Vile Parle (east) (‘Garbage dump outside school is a drug den’), the police and civic authorities have swung into action.
Additional Police Commissioner Vishwas Nangre Patil, directed the Vile Parle Police to take quick action and congratulated the Mid Day team for the exposé. He informed that six senior PI’s in his jurisdiction have already been asked to keep a drug vigil outside schools and colleges in their respective zones.
“The officers have been asked report to me directly if any cases pertaining to drugs are unearthed in their jurisdiction. In the recent past, over 400 cases have been filed by the police against drug peddlers and consumers,” said Patil.
MLA Krishna Hedge, was approached with photographic evidence soon after the sting operation. He coordinated the press exposé and subsequent police action and said he was alarmed that drugs were being sold openly in the market like fruits and vegetables.
“I have personally discussed this issue with top police officials in the area. The expose has revealed the rampant sale of drugs in the city. We need stricter laws, which ensure that the guilty do not get easy bail,” he said.
Sashkant Talegaonkar, Senior PI of Vile Parle Police Station who initiated the raid along with officers from the Anti Narcotic cell of Mumbai police, informed that both the accused were produced in court on Saturday morning and have been remanded to two days in police custody. “This will give us time to investigate the intricate details of the case, like who are the main suppliers and buyers of the illegal substances.”
Mid Day investigations on Friday had revealed that ganja, a potent form of cannabis, was openly being sold to youngsters. In the two hours that we spent on the spot, it was noticed that every 15 minutes, a transaction was taking place between the accused, 50 year-old Kandaswamy Kaveri Arjun and his wife, 45 year-old Shanta Arjun, who were later arrested. Approximately two kg of charas, with a street value of upto Rs 10,000, was confiscated from the venue.
The story came in the wake of moral policing by the cops, who are targeting pubs and busting what they deem as rave parties. Our findings establish that it is the streets of Mumbai which are actually being used as distribution points by the drug cartel for their nefarious activities. It also remains a mystery how this drug trade flourished on a main road, and was operated from a garbage bin that is cleaned at least once a day by the BMC.