Out on bail, couple back to selling drugs outside school
They say old habits die hard, which seems to hold true for Kandaswamy Kaveri Arjun (52) and his wife Shanta Arjun (47). About two years back, mid-day had exposed their drug racket (‘Garbage dump outside school is a drug den’, June 16, 2012), which they were operating barely 25 feet away from the Nityananda High School, Vile Parle (East), next to a municipal garbage dump. Last week, the duo was back in business at the very spot they were earlier picked up by the police.
History repeats itself: Kandaswamy Kaveri Arjun and Shanta Arjun were spotted operating their drug racket from the same spot they were picked up from, two years back. Pics/ Sameer Markande
This journalist, who incidentally also carried out the first sting, spotted the couple on Friday but could not find any evidence. The dealers seemed to have exhausted their stock and were seen turning customers away.
Saturday, 12.45 pm
As the duo replenished their stocks for weekend revellers, it was only a matter of time before we captured customer after customer making a beeline for the garbage dump to purchase narcotics, in broad daylight. The main clientele was the young college crowd, who appeared to be from affluent families.
The plan — 4.30 pm
Soon, the mid-day team had enough evidence that the duo was selling charas, often referred to as a gateway drug for more toxic addictive drugs like cocaine. It was being sold in well-packed polythene bags, weighing approximately five grams, for R50. They contacted the local MLA, Krishna Hegde, who soon informed Senior Police Inspector Prakash Rane of Vile Parle police station.
Within an hour, a crack team, led by Detection Officer Popat Dhaytonde, reached the spot and arrested them. The woman constable who caught Shanta Arjun observed that she that concealed quite a few packets of the drug in her blouse. Shanta was seen trying to resist, and in an attempt to get rid of the evidence, tried to empty the contents by flinging it up in the air.
At the police station it was learnt that the duo, after their last arrest under the Narcotics Act, were out on bail and their case was being tried at the sessions court. They confessed that the Kandivli police had earlier arrested them on the same charges, but were later released on bail.