Himachal Pradesh: Adulterated heroin use and seizures are at an all-time high
Since November 2021 nearly 60% of the 2,307 drug peddlers arrested in Himachal were involved in smuggling adulterated heroin ‘Chitta’. Its consumption is at its peak in the state as said by officials.
In 2017, 3.4 kgs of Chitta was found, and in 2021 14.9 kgs have been found. So there has been a multi-fold rise in seizures of Chitta.
The number of addicts of Chitta has risen in Himachal and addicts belonging to wealthy families are also involved in the peddling of drugs which is Rs. 4000- 6000 per gram, the officials said.
There are a total of 2,307 drug peddlers and 80% of them belonged from Himachal and the rest of 18% belonged to other states and 2% were foreigners as per Register number 29 introduced by Himachal Police which was found to keep track of drug peddlers.
Himachal is the only state that maintains such a record.
Police officials said that they have registered cases against drug traffickers and they have huge seizures. Their focus is on the big fish in the drug peddlers.
DGP Sanjay Kundu said, “We have registered record cases against drug traffickers and made huge seizures and about 60 percent of the accused were held with Chitta in 2022, though in small quantities.
The focus is on the big fish in the drug trade and forward and backward investigations are being done to nab the kingpins. Our initiatives are bearing results and we have introduced a new ‘register of drug traffickers’ which has helped us to keep strict surveillance over big smugglers.”
Drug peddlers’ properties worth over Rs. 12 crores have been linked through ED and the Ministry of Finance. ‘Robust trial management system has led to expeditious trials in court and improved convictions.
In 2022, 1,372 people have been arrested and 1,195 NDPS cases in October end other than opium, ganja, charas, smack, and cocaine, 7.9 kgs of Chitta has been seized, as per the information from the police department.
According to the survey, over 1150 drug users lodged in a de-addiction center in Himachal. The number of Chitta-addicted people has surpassed other hard drugs addiction.
After the examination of the Chitta drug’s sample, forensic experts said that the Chitta drug was supplied from Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan – Golden crescent route through Punjab to Kangra & Mandi districts of Himachal.
A forensic expert said, “The composition of Chitta delivered to Nigerians in Delhi through Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand (Golden triangle) has a combination of heroin, paracetamol, and dextromethorphan which is less lethal.”
Himachal Pradesh State Mental Health Authority (CEO), Sanjay Pathak said that easy access to drugs, peer pressure, and strained interpersonal relations in the family are leading reasons for drug usage.