GUWAHATI: A total of 83 cases of Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act were registered for the year 2018 in Guwahati. In connection to the same, the police had arrested 151 people and seized drugs worth Rs 1,49,08,906.
Among the total drugs seized were 1070.74 kgs of Ganja, the value of which has been calculated at Rs 64,69,750.
The year started with the seizure of 51 kgs of drugs by Gorchuk police on January 9. The largest consignment of cannabis seized by the Guwahati police, however, was on March 19. The consignment containing 784 kgs of ganja was seized by Gorchuk police who arrested one Ajay Kumar, 24, in connection with the same.
Earlier, on the morning of January 9, Gorchuk outpost police seized 21 kgs of Ganja (cannabis) near the ISBT in-gate during regular checking. Police also arrested one Kamal Haque and one Gautam Debnath in this connection. The duo had brought the huge quantity of cannabis from Tripura to Guwahati.
Additionally, Gorchuk police also seized 30.8 kgs of cannabis on the same day and arrested two in connection with the same. The accused were identified as Lokaro Boro and Subodh Malakar.
Speaking to G Plus, an official of Gorchuk outpost had said, “Cannabis is often brought to the city from Tripura. But they hardly acknowledge where or to whom they sell the cannabis.”
Other drugs seized by the city police throughout the year includes brown sugar, heroin, opium, rexcod, nitrosun tablets, pink tablets, cutting paper, drug powder and insulin syringe.
Guwahati has developed into a transit point for narcotics over the last five years. Being the gateway to the northeast and with an increasing number of people settling from different nooks and corners of the region, the city has become the hub of criminal activities.
Much before Guwahati, Imphal and Aizawl had fallen victims to narcotics due to their proximity to Myanmar which exports heroin from the laboratories mainly located in the mountains of Shan state bordering China. But Guwahati is more precariously perched – it is also near to the mainland which ensures an uninterrupted supply of drugs from different destinations.
A wide spectrum of drugs from methamphetamines to the cannabis is sold in Guwahati. Popular among a large section of the young abusers in the city are painkillers and cough syrups which are reportedly manufactured in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
No drug mafia arrested by Guwahati city police
A total of 150 people were arrested by the Guwahati city police in relation with cases registered under the NDPS Act in 2019. However, the city police failed to arrest any big drug mafias in 2018 in spite of the narcotics scenario in the state getting grimmer.
“The number of NDPS cases has been constantly going up in the last decade. Since 2011, every year over 200 cases have been registered across the state. The number soared to 251 in 2013. In the following years, the numbers came down slightly to 210 in 2014 and 217 in 2015 but it peaked in 2016 with 386 cases getting registered,” official records said.
A large number of cases under the NDPS Act were registered in the city in 2018 but the highest were registered at Jalukbari police station (14 cases) that also arrested the highest number of people in connection to the cases (31 people).
Jalukbari was followed by Paltan Bazar police station which registered 13 cases and arrested 29 people while Basistha and Gorchuk both registered 10 cases each. While Basistha police arrested 17 people, Gorchuk police arrested 15.
On the other hand, the least number of cases under the Act were registered at Pragjyotishpur, Azara, Geetanagar and Chandmari police stations (1 case each) in 2018.
Additionally, the Government Railway Police registered a total of 55 cases under NDPS Act in 2018 and arrested 54 persons in connection with the same. Among the narcotic substances seized by GRP were 70 kgs of Tablets, 911 kgs of Ganja, 3.6 kgs of Morphine, 1095 bottles of Phensedyl and over 2000 bottles of liquor.
Smugglers opt for train network to transport drugs
With regular trains running between Guwahati and Barak Valley and Tripura, the narcotic trade route has also shifted from Nagaland to Mizoram, revealed sources in the narcotics control bureau.
Narcotics such as brown sugar, cocaine and heroin come mainly from Myanmar to India through Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. Drugs enter Assam mostly through the Moreh (Manipur)-Dimapur (Nagaland) route and also from Mizoram through Barak Valley (the most preferred route in recent times). Synthetic drugs come from Punjab and other northern and western states through Cooch Behar in Bengal. A part of brown sugar also comes from Bihar.
Though a lot of the narcotics such as brown sugar, cocaine and heroin still come through the Moreh (Manipur)-Dimapur (Nagaland) route from Myanmar, party drugs and the synthetic drugs mostly take the Mizoram route.
In December 2015, the first broad gauge train to Silchar was flagged off while in January 2016, the first broad gauge train to Tripura started.
With the inclusion of these regions in broad gauge network, there are now six trains to Silchar in Barak Valley and four trains to Agartala in Tripura plying from different parts of the country via Guwahati.
“After the introduction of broad gauge, the narcotics traffic has increased a lot. Most of the peddlers are arrested from trains coming from Barak Valley and Tripura. From what we have apprehended, we have found that the bulk of marijuana comes mostly from Tripura and North Cachar Hills while heroin, brown sugar and morphine comes from Silchar. In most of the cases, these are being freighted from Mizoram,” a source in the Government Railway Police informed G Plus.
Additionally, Rajdhani Express (Down) has become a convenient and frequently used train to transport narcotics substance from the northeastern states to other states of the country.
“The Rajdhani Express is a fully air-conditioned train. Compared to other trains security personnel tend to give the train a more cursory look. The contention of the peddlers on the train is that the passengers are well off and they would get away unnoticed by being among them. This happens when the peddlers carry small consignments with them. However huge consignments are carried elsewhere in the train,” the source added. More