Adulterated heroin a huge hit in Barabanki
LUCKNOW: Necessity is the mother of invention. The adage fits perfectly to Barabanki. The scarcity of crude opium in the past two years made the district invent newer technologies and manufacture several adulterants of heroin like `power' and `jhatka'. The adulterants might not promise as much kick as heroin but illegal drug production is only getting bigger with this. The adulterants are available at lesser price and market for them is growing.
`Power' is a mixture of cut (a jargon used for paracetamol) and alprazolam, while `jhatka' is `power' plus gun powder. A gram of heroin will come for Rs 800 but adulterants come at a lesser price. The zonal unit of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Lucknow has been keeping a watch on the activities and trying to curb the emerging trends in illegal drug manufacturing and sale. "Enforcement agencies have been told about the trends, there is strict enforcement and all possible coordination with other agencies," says zonal director Sanjay Kumar, an IPS officer.
In 2009-10, 34.97 kg of heroin, 2 kg of alprazolam, 5.8 kg of charas, a quintal of poppy straw, 199 kg of acetic anhydride was seized and 29 people were arrested. In 2008-09, 24.15 kg of heroin, 2 kg of alprazolam, 17.29 quintal of mandrax, 84 quintal of poppy straw, 150 kg of acetic anhydride was seized and 28 people were arrested. The raids and arrests have increased with the years. In 2007-08, only 8.7 kg of heroin, 7.3 quintal of poppy straw, 10 kg of charas was seized and six persons were arrested. Out of the total cases of drugs seized and arrests made by Lucknow office of NCB in the past three years, maximum are from Barabanki.
The district, since 1820, has been the hub of illegal drug manufacturing. Under the NDPS Act, Barabanki along with eight other districts of Uttar Pradesh -- Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Lucknow, Bareilly, Rae Bareli, Faizabad, Mau and Ghazipur -- have been chosen for legal cultivation of opium by Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN). But that has not curbed illegal extraction of opiates.
And Barabanki seems to have taken the lead here. The district, by now, has apparently transferred the technology to states like Assam, Jharkhand, J&K, Nagaland, Manipur, West Bengal and Bihar. The officials at zonal unit of NCB at Lucknow, which has within its jurisdiction states like Uttarkhand, Bihar and UP, say technology transfer is a bigger threat.
As far as the entry of newer adulterants is concerned, there has been recovery of drugs from Varanasi, Bareilly and Gorakhpur as well. "Bareilly has taken to production of goda-powder (opium husk)," says Kumar. And it does not end here. Investigation by enforcement agencies revealed that to increase the volume of drugs and lessen their price, lactogen, glucose, energy drinks like Bournvita and Complan, are used as adulterants.
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