20 November,2010 06:37 AM IST | | Sayed Roshan
Beneath the yuppie neighbourhoods and suburban collegian havens, simmers a Bandra that is quickly becoming a major hub for drug traffickers.
An undercover investigation carried out by MiD DAY reveals a drug clientele of mostly students from nearby colleges who are served by about two dozen peddlers in the area.
It also revealed that the police are helpless to stop these dealers because of their backing by local politicians.
The sting carried out by this reporter points to how drugs are being sold in the narrow lanes of Patel Nagri, barely 100 metres from Bandra (West) railway station.
The dealer under investigation was offering hashish (charas) and brown sugar at Rs 60 for a packet of 2 gms.
Making the deal
The dealer inquired about the identity of the client (this reporter) before he was even willing to talk about a deal.
However, the decoy managed to convince the reluctant dealer that the person accompanying him was a student.
The decoy explained to this reporter that the dealer did not encourage direct sale of drugs. It was mandatory that somebody introduce the potential buyer to him first.
The dealer was relaxed on hearing that the new buyer was a student. This reporter also spotted other students, including a few girls, appraoching the deserted lanes to buy drugs.
Some of them revealed that they were studying in nearby colleges.
The business runs like a chain. The location of den is publicised by word of mouth. Insiders informed that some of the dealers enjoy the protection of local politicians.
The local police therefore hesitate to raid their dens and prefer to look the other way. "The drug business continues as the dealers have contacts with high-profile people in the area.
Whenever we try to catch them, pressure is exerted to keep us off their trail," said an officer from Bandra police station, on condition of anonymity.
Responding to the investigation, DCP of the Anti-Narcotics Cell Sunil Paraskar, said, "Strict action will be taken against the peddlers.
We are surely going to raid the place. This will be a part of our effort to make this city drug free."
A tukdi or pack weighs around 2 grams and consists of the drug wrapped and stapled in a very small polythene bag.
The consignment is usually stacked in container full of grains. By conservative estimates each dealer is able to sell around 2,000 packets per day.
The business starts at 5 am in the morning and extends till well past midnight.
In an another case, a cobbler outside a local college is also known to sell tukdis. He sells around 500 tukdis a day.
Sources also informed that the hashish is smuggled from Kashmir and is called *Kali* in underworld circles. It is also shipped into the city from Goa and Nepal.
The quality of the drug is considered good if it is soft and can be pressed easily. Adulterated consignments are usually hard.
The quality can also be determined with the smell in the packet; if the smell hits hard then the quality is superior.