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'Eves too are in the forefront in drug-peddling'

Saturday, January 13, 2018
By Raju Vernekar

Regardless of caste, community, creed and religion, a sizeable number of women have been involved in a drug peddling network that is spread across in several states including Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, across the country, Senior Police Inspector Subhash Khanvilkar stated here.

Addressing citizens’ meeting, jointly organised by Apna Ghar West Coop Housing Societies’ Association (AGWCHSA) and the Oshiwara Police, to create awareness against drug abuse, on Thursday night, Khanvilkar said that the peddlers keep changing locations to evade arrest. Action was taken against over 170 persons and narcotic drugs worth Rs 16 lakh were seized with prosecutions being launched against seven peddlers in 2017 in the Oshiwara area alone. Going by the vast expanse of Mumbai, the clandestine sale of drugs is of a larger magnitude, he added.

The Oshiwara police have pressed into service 11 mobile vehicles, installed 48 CCTVs and four constables have been deployed round the clock to deal with drug menace. Under the circumstances, all that the citizens should do is to pass on the information about drug abuse to police immediately. The names of the informants will be kept guarded. As such the citizens need not worry. The citizens can pass on the information by dialing 100 in case of drug abuse and on number 103 about offences against women, children and senior citizens.

It may be recalled that in September 2017, Maya Singh (45), a resident of Delhi had been arrested by the Oshiwara police, under the NDPS Act, when she had come to sell 3 Kg drugs near Food In Hotel, Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri.

Narrating restrictions brought in on police, while exercising their duties, by human right activists and courts, Khanvilkar informed the gathering that now police cannot take action under Section 151 (to arrest and detain a person for 24 hours, without orders from a magistrate and without warrant, to prevent the commission of cognisable offence) and 110 (indecent behaviour in public) of the Bombay Police Act, 1951. 70 odd staff of Oshiwara looks after nearly 7 lakh people. The police is doing its best to maintain law and order, he added.

Noted psychiatrist Dr. Sagar Mundada said that in our country, on an average 26 children of age group 15 to 25 years commit suicide in 24 hours and at least ten of them commit suicide due to drug overdose. The alcohol, tobacco and cannabis (marijuana, charas, bhang etc) are the “three idiots” ruining the society and only the solution is to take preventive action like counselling, de-addiction and detoxification (in case of advanced stage of addiction). The detoxification can be done on an outpatient basis at mental health centres, addiction clinics or private clinics and on an inpatient basis at a hospital or residential treatment centre.

“Last year, the Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had suggested legalising marijuana, a psychoactive drug, in India for medical purposes on the lines of the practice adopted by developed countries like the US to curb drug abuse. However, her suggestion had been misunderstood by many. As such, to engage children of adolescent age in more and more sports activities would be the better solution, Dr. Mundada suggested.

On the occasion in an interactive session, many citizens opined that in these days of onslaught of visual media, including films and TV, to take children into confidence would be the better option and if authorities can prevent drugs from reaching residential colonies easily, it would give further relief to the harrowed parents of the children consuming drugs.

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