In a major New Year’s Eve crackdown, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Saturday arrested four students belonging to three top universities – Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Amity University – with more than 1 kg of charas (cannabis) and Lysergic acid Diethylamide (LSD) blotters.
The arrested include Gaurav Kumar (23) – the son of undersecretary at the ministry of fertilizer and a B.A. Economics (hons) student at Hindu College – who, according to NCB officials, was the kingpin of the racket.
Kumar, a resident of east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar locality, was quite well-known across campuses as he used to arrange drugs for parties even at the last moment.
He procured drugs from Himachal Pradesh and sold it to students in the city.
During interrogation, Kumar confessed to the police that he had been using drugs ever since he took admission at Delhi University nearly three years ago.
Said a senior police official, “Within a few months of consuming hash (charas) on the campus, he (Kumar) came in contact with his senior – Tenzin Phunchog (24). Phunchog, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, is a first-year MSc Physics student at Hindu College. The duo used to visit Himachal and procure drugs from one Neelchand.”
Neelchand is a wanted drug peddler operating from Himachal Pradesh. During their visit for drug procurement, Kumar stayed at Neelchand’s house in Choj village.
Sources told Mail Today that Kumar’s parents were clueless about their son’s activity. They knew about his smoking habit but were completely unaware about his role as a drug peddler or a drug addict. Kumar used to visit Himachal frequently.
“Though his family knew about the visits, they always thought that he visited the place for its cuisines. They were unaware that their son went to Himachal to buy drugs in bulk,” said a source.
Kumar and Phunchog told police that there is a huge demand for drugs on campuses and selling them offered quick money. (About half kg of charas bought for Rs 1 lakh was sold for more than Rs 2 lakh.)
“The money allowed them to live a lavish lifestyle and also buy more drugs,” said a senior police official, quoting from Kumar’s confessional statement.
The other two students who have been arrested are Sam Mallick, a JNU student pursuing MA in Physics, and Anirud Mathur, an MBA graduate doing his specialisation in Hospitality Management at Amity University. According to police sources, these two students too belong to “good, educated families”.
The arrests came in the wake of a tip-off received by the NCB Delhi Zonal unit.
“The unit has been receiving information about drug peddling and widespread drug use around institutional areas for the last few months, especially around institutions like Delhi University, Jawaharlal University and Amity University,” said SK Jha, Deputy Director General (North), NCB.
NCB then focused on gathering the necessary information with regard to the activities surrounding these institutions before the final crackdown. On Thursday (December 28), the team received information that LSD blotters will be shipped through DTDC courier to Jaipur for the upcoming New Year celebrations.
A team reached the DTDC office at Vijay Nagar immediately and seized the consignment containing three LSD blotters.
Kumar along with three other students were arrested the next day. Around 1.140 kg of charas was also recovered from him.
Sources told Mail Today that Kumar, along with Aniruddh Mathur and Tenzin Phunchog, had gone to Himachal Pradesh on December 24 and came back with a huge cache of drugs for New Year celebrations.
“He never went home after returning from Himachal because of the contraband he was carrying. He was confident that he would be able to sell the entire consignment within a few hours,” said a source.
“We have obtained information about other drug peddlers involved in the racket and are currently verifying them,” said SK Jha, deputy director general, NCB.
Rina Mitra, Director General, NCB, has expressed serious concern over the growing use of drugs by students and has directed the Delhi Zonal Unit to keep a strict vigil.