Huge quantity of drugs seized, Guwahati reconfirmed as major transit point
GUWAHATI: The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Assam Police has seized over 2.60 lakh psychotropic tablets and 4,700 bottles of cough syrup, valued at Rs 19.40 lakhs, from an unauthorised godown in the Hojai district and arrested the owner of the storage.
With a wide variety of narcotics substances available in the city, Guwahati has emerged as the transit point for many gangs and cartels. The city’s location makes it vulnerable to receiving and forwarding drugs from different destinations including the mainland and neighbouring countries. These drugs are mainly supplied to Dima Hasao, Karbi Anglong and Dimapur (Nagaland), official sources in the CID informed G Plus.
The reality of the prevailing situation unfolded on May 18, Saturday, when a team of CID officials along with members of the Vigilance & Anti-Corruption Bureau of the police carried out a raid in the godown of Mazumdar Drug Distributors at Doboka in Hojai district and seized a huge quantity of medicines worth Rs 19,39,047, informed officials.
The officials seized 400 bottles each of Bestorax, Rexomac and Concor cough syrups, 200 bottles of Rodcuf cough syrup, 2,500 bottles of Wirof cough syrup, 800 bottles of Codextim cough syrup, 2,41,200 numbers of Sampax tablets, 7,200 numbers of Winspasmo tablets and 18,700 numbers of Nitrozepam tablets.
In connection with the case, police apprehended Tahiruddin Mazumder, the owner of the godown under sections 42, 21 (C), 22 (C) and 29 of the NDPS Act.
“The operation was carried out on the basis of secret information that one Rajen, proprietor of Aditya Nandan Drugs Distributor, Bhetapara in Guwahati, under the cover of his drug licence, traded a huge quantity of codeine-based cough syrup etc, to Doboka,” informed Additional Director General of Police, LR Bishnoi.
During interrogation, Mazumdar revealed the names of four Guwahati-based drug distributors whom the CID is suspecting to have supplied the drugs to his godown.
"The CID sleuths are keeping a vigil on four drug distributors in Guwahati. We have conducted raids in all four of the godowns; however they were closed," added Bishnoi.
He further added that there are 6,600 notified godowns for drugs storage in Assam. But the godown at Doboka was not licensed and so the proprietor failed to produce any documents regarding the purchase, storage or sale of drugs.
Showing concern over the huge quantities of drugs being made available in the city, the ADGP said, “The consumption of such drugs happens in a clandestine manner and the youth of the country are most affected by it. Among the customers are drug addict youths who seek such drugs without medical prescriptions. This is an area of concern which creates a negative impact on society.”
He also urged the residents to come forward and share any leads they might have - of illegal drugs being used or sold - to the police.
Drug overdose deaths in Guwahati on the rise
At least two cases of death due to suspected drug overdose has been reported in the city in the past week. The first incident came to light on May 18 when the body of a 22 year old girl was recovered.
The girl, identified as Aparupa Das, died of suspected drug overdose at a house in Mathuranagar area of Guwahati. The incident happened at the rented accommodation of one Ishaku Das (40), whom Aparupa met on Facebook.
Sources in the police informed the media that Aparupa’s body was found in the bathroom of the house in an unconscious state. She was taken to Down Town Hospital, where she was declared brought dead by the doctors.
Aparupa, who was an air hostess trainee, lived in Bamunimaidan. Following her death, police had taken Ishaku into their custody for interrogation.
In yet another case of suspected drug overdose reported in Guwahati, the city police recovered the body of a 19-year-old from Chachal area on Sunday, May 19.
The body of the young boy, Bikram Rabha, was found on a cot of a roadside store in Chachal that falls under the jurisdiction of Dispur police. According to the police, minor injuries were spotted in the left toe of the body. The body also had fumes in its nostrils.
The police have handed over the body to his family after post-mortem in Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH).
Bikram reportedly hailed from Lechubagan in Hengrabari. His father, Girindra Rabha, who is an auto-rickshaw driver, reportedly confirmed that Bikram was a drug addict.
Counselling centre for substance abusers set up
A counselling centre for substance abusers has been set up at the CID office, informed Additional Director General of Police LR Bishnoi. “In the cell, psychologists will provide counselling to victims. I want to urge all people to approach us if anyone from the family or friends becomes a victim of drug abuse. It will help us in apprehending more drug peddlers,” he said.
The Assam Police is also strengthening its narcotic cell, for which the Centre has released Rs 25,80,000. The cell is headed by ADGP LR Bishnoi who stated that this fund would be used to procure a special prisoner van, four motorcycles and a four-wheeler along with computers and dragon lights.
The aim is to make the narcotics cell more mobile in order to bust more drug rackets and gain better results.
Additionally, Bishnoi informed that all the existing data available with the CID regarding all kinds of crime would soon be analysed in the Cyberdome of Assam Police. “By analysing all the existing data, we will develop an artificial intelligence system in the state, through which early prediction or getting the alert about probability of any crime will be made possible,” he said.