After arresting several drug peddlers during a special drive during the last few weeks, Hyderabad police are now contemplating action against those consuming drugs. Stating that cutting the supply chain alone will not help, the police are planning to crackdown on consumption. Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand said on Thursday, January 7, that they have the list of those consuming drugs.
"We will talk to psychiatrists and sociologists on how to proceed and will take a policy decision in coming days," he told reporters while announcing the arrest of six drug peddlers of three gangs and seizure of drugs including cocaine and MDMA valued at Rs 20 lakh. The Police Commissioner hinted that they may arrest those consuming drugs under section 27 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
"So far we were liberal about those who were using so that their careers are not destroyed. We talked to their parents and counseled them but there is change in them. We feel that if consumption does not come down, the supply will also not come down. Therefore, the time has come for strict measures to cut the demand," he said.
He said the addicts were mostly youngsters in the age group of 18-30 and they are from all sectors and classes. "They include consumers of all drugs from easily available ganja to high-end cocaine. No one is free of it," he said.
The police chief, however, declined to answer queries regarding the 2017 drug case allegedly involving some Tollywood stars. Anand said he did not want to comment on a case which was already investigated. The case had rocked Telugu film industry after a drug peddler had claimed that he was supplying drugs to some film personalities. About a dozen people connected with Tollywood were questioned in the case by Prohibition and Excise Department officials. Recently the Enforcement Directorate also questioned them.
Anand said Task Force teams busted three gangs of drug peddlers based on the specific information obtained during the tight vigil maintained on suspects on the eve of New Year celebrations. In the first case, Imran Babu Sheikh and Noor Mohammed Khan, both residents of Mumbai, were arrested by the North Zone Task Force team. Police said they arrested them from a OYO hotel in Panjagutta in Hyderabad when they came to sell 100 gram cocaine.
Anand said they were making efforts to arrest gang leader Tony, a Nigerian, who operates from Vasai-Virar area in Mumbai and supplies drugs to his agents in various states. He said they would also approach the Nigerian embassy and seek help from Mumbai Police to track him down. "Our team was in Mumbai for 10 days but they could not arrest him," he said.
Tony is said to be using a cell phone with a Nigerian SIM and runs the racket through messages. He does not even meet agents appointed by him for his network, police said.
In another case, the West Zone Task Force team arrested one Syed Qaiser Hussain alias Faisal, a resident of Chaderghat area in Hyderabad, who was allegedly bringing drugs from Mumbai. Syed Rasheed Khan alias Baba, a native of Gujarat and Najamul Hussain Sheikh of Mumbai were also arrested. Police said that they seized 15 grams cocaine and 45 grams of MDMA from their possession.
In the third case, the West Zone Task Force team arrested Anirudh alias Sonu and Avinash, both residents of Hyderabad who were bringing ecstasy pills and LSD blots from Goa for selling it in Hyderabad. Acting on specific information, police arrested the duo and seized 28 pills of ecstasy and 17 blots.