Published: 26th April 2018
At least 150 youngsters bought 'stuff' in Hyderabad last month. Here's how cops tracked the peddlers
Among the 150 are students pursuing MBBS, MBA, Bachelors courses, employees from IT, management companies and other backgrounds
Hyderabad’s dopers have the numerous bylanes of Dhoolpet memorised by heart. Every night, when they run out of “stash”, they drive to the neighbourhood where peddlers sell ganja openly. However, from now on, they might be in for a surprise, as instead of meeting their regular peddler, they might come face to face with Excise officials in plain clothes. For the first time in Dhoolpet, Telangana Prohibition and Excise department officials are keeping a close watch on the spots infamous for ganja trade. They have already registered cases under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act against 10 people and identified more than 150 youngsters who come to Dhoolpet on a regular basis to buy the merchandise.
Among the 150 are students pursuing MBBS, MBA, Bachelors courses, employees from IT, management companies and other backgrounds. They are all between the age group of 17 to 35 years and more than 80 percent among them were men. Even a few foreigners were spotted.“People come all the way from Sainikpuri, Nagole, Uppal, and many other localities in Hyderabad. One of the people came all the way from Nalgonda,” said N Anji Reddy, assistant Excise superintendent (Enforcement), Hyderabad.
Giving an insight into the operation that started one-and-a-half month back, officials from the department said that they conduct the investigations at every day around 1 am and 2 am. They divided their staff into three to four teams and positioned themselves at spots infamous for selling ganja.
Anji Reddy said, “After catching three to four youngsters, information spread around fast among peddlers that we were conducting an operation and they disappeared from streets. Now when dopers couldn’t find their familiar peddlers in their usual spots, they got riled up and moved on from on spot to the other in search of weed.
“This strengthened our suspicion and helped us in identifying the youngsters. When we find a person that has come to the locality with intention to buy ganja, we take their parents’ phone numbers and ask them to attend counselling,” Reddy added. He added that if caught with Ganja, cases are registered under Section 27 and 28 of the NDPS Act.
Sources said that some of the youngsters claimed they came to the locality to see Charminar. “A youngster from Sainikpuri said he had come all the way to Dhoolpet to see Charminar. Now the monument is 3.5-kms away from Dhoolpet,” sources said.
How are drug users counselled?
All those found to have come to Dhoolpet with intention to buy ganja, are made to sit in a room along with parents, guardians and are shown a 20-minute PPT, where officials explain how drug use affects a person’s life financially, socially, physically, psychologically, and strains relations. They also explained the kind of cases that can be filed if caught with drugs.Now, the counselling does not end there. The cops also explained how its hard to identify someone under the influence of ganja. Dilated, droopy and red eyes and behavioural changes are an indicator that the person has smoked weed.“Parents are explained how a person’s behaviour changes towards other family members. Drugs’ impact on a person’s life is explained at the counselling,” said C Vivekananda Reddy, deputy commissioner of Prohibition and Excise, Hyderabad division.
Nanakramguda, the new ganja hub
Sleuths from the department suspect that the strict vigil at Dhoolpet will drive people to other places known for ganja trade like Nanakramguda and Fateh Naga. Nanakramguda is located nearby major IT companies and restaurants in Gachibowli.Officials from the department said that the trade of Ganja has picked up in the locality in the past six to seven-years. “When we were conducting the drive in Dhoolpet, people would rather travel two to three-hours more to Nanakramguda to buy ganja,” sources said. However, Rangareddy district Excise officials said the activity has come down in the past one to two months. “In the past several months, we have booked at least one case a week against peddlers in Nanakramguda. The ganja trade there has come down now,” said K Pavan Kumar assistant Excise superintendent (Rangareddy district).