With a long coastal line, Gujarat is fast turning into a mega drug trafficking hub and the increased cases of seizures have the government and administration worried about the threat they pose to teenagers and younger children prompting fears and measures to prevent it from becoming another Punjab.
In the past three years, over 5,000 kg of drugs has been seized by security agencies. The current drug haul case from Morbi is being valued at Rs 730 crores.
Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghvi recently said, “We don’t want youngsters to get involved with drugs. If we find someone, we immediately inform their parents as it is their responsibility to ensure that the children don’t get into something like this. I’m here to assist.”
However, the fears may have turned into reality far sooner than it was being hoped as was evidenced from Surat police’s recent bust. On Thursday, the Surat police nabbed a Grade 9 student from Rajasthan with 2 kgs of opium worth Rs 2 lakh stuffed in his school bag. The boy was allegedly delivering the bag to Surat. While the case is one of a kind – at least in the state- it has put the state machine on alert that drug cartels are resorting to using children as mules to smuggle drugs across the country.
The 16-year-old child informed the police that he was asked to work in the drug trafficking network for a sum of Rs 5,000. The police also confiscated two cell phones worth Rs 7,500 from the minor. They suspect that he was working with one Gopal Ratanji Sharma, a Chittorgarh resident.
“The child was travelling in a train from Rajasthan to Surat, with older members from the gang. While the other two members escaped, the child was caught from the Puna area in Surat,” said a Surat police source.
Puna police station PSI PK Rathod and his surveillance squad caught the minor.
The Surat police have seized opium worth Rs 1.98 lakh so far.
However, this isn’t the only case of drugs caught on Thursday in Surat. The city seems to be the next hub of drug trafficking. Earlier yesterday, Surat police arrested two men and a woman for trafficking heroin and marijuana into the city.
The police have already been on a high alert as the demand for weed and heroin seem to be increasing in the city. The arrested accused informed that they were delivering the drugs via a train from Odisha. The police caught weed worth Rs 3.90 lakh and other illegal materials of Rs 4.27 lakhs.
The drug menace, not uncommon in Surat, has now extended to Ahmedabad. However, Ahmedabad seems to have sought a new way of consuming drugs.
Ahmedabad police arrested three men for using and selling cough syrup medicine to get high. They had reportedly stolen stocks of the cough syrup from a Uttarakhand based company. The SOG Crime Branch acted on a tip-off and caught a rickshaw at Vishala Narol carrying the stock worth Rs 40,000 to the city.
The arrested namely Aarif Syed, Irfan Mir and Salim informed the police that they have been in this business for a while. Ahmedabad police are further investigating the matter.