Hyderabad is paying the price of being on the road to becoming a global city. The bogey of drugs refuses to die away despite efforts by law enforcement authorities to nurse the city back to health. Drug peddlers from all parts of the country always find a ready market in Hyderabad. After arrest, drug supplier Calvin Mascarenhas blew the lid off the tinsel word and the authorities found names of several Tollywood biggies in his contacts list.
The officials announced seizure of 700 LSD blots and 35 grams of MDMA, a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception, at the time of the arrest of Calvin and two others. There were allegations that the peddlers used the dark-net for placing orders. In yet another raid that followed soon, the enforcement authorities found that even school children were using drugs. Several peddles were rounded up. Among suppliers of drugs were shockingly some students pursuing engineering and management courses.
In the latest crackdown, the police swooped on two drug peddlers and obtained information from them which they want to use to nab others who are into this illegal business. The persons arrested were repeat offenders, which only proves that reformation had any little effect on them. The police find it difficult to root out the menace since the peddlers are always several steps ahead of them.
They quickly change methods of reaching contraband to customers through intermediaries. It is often the case that the user turns a peddler in future because he knows the source and the handsome money that he gets if he can identify new users. This phenomenon of the user becoming the peddler is dangerous and, if allowed to persist, before long there will be too many addicts, tarnishing the image of the city.
It is true that if there are no users, there would be no business. But the police cannot take action against the users since they cannot be technically called the accused. The law stresses more on the peddler than on the user. That is why in all cases, except taking statements from the users and obtaining information from them on suppliers, the police could not do much. Apart from this, the supplier, after coming out of prison on bail, continues purveying drugs as the recipient network is always there untouched. This is a disconcerting symptom of a deeper malaise that is afflicting society.
Though helping those who have become addicted to drugs is important, it is also vital that the drug chain needs to be broken. Dismissing the spread of the nefarious drug culture as something that one has to put up with, even as Hyderabad grows into a megalopolis, is the attitude of a defeatist. Drugs have already made an entry into Tollywood, schools, and colleges and before long they would be spreading to other areas. The government has done a great job till now but sitting on laurels would not be enough. The drug mafia has to be exterminated. If the crackdown is abandoned midway, purveyors of drugs get a new lease of life.