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dna special: Mahim becoming junkies' paradise

Thursday, 27 March 2014 - 7:52am IST | Agency: DNA
  • Locals believe that there is an organised network operating in the area. They say the police have not been able to nab the peddlers who supply drugs not only to beggars, but also to school and college students Hemant Padalkar DNA

Residents of Mahim are concerned over the rise in the number of drug addicts in their localities. Be it Mahim railway station, Cadell Road, the bus depot, the beach and roads outside Mahim Durgah and St. Michael's church, the whole area is infested with junkies. According to sources, more than 2,000 junkies are spread across Mahim.

Last week, the residents met Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria and he assured them that the area will be cleared of drug addicts in less than two weeks. A meeting was also held between the Mahim police and the residents on Monday where the issue was addressed at length.

Zafar Khan, secretary of the Advanced Locality Management (ALM), said, "Mahim has become a hotspot for beggars and junkies as they get free food and lodging outside the Durgah and at the beach. We believe that there is a bigger nexus operating which makes the addicts thrive." He said that the police have not been able to nab the peddlers who supply narcotic substances to not just the beggars and slum dwellers, but also to school and college students. 

Blu Saldanha, a resident of MMC Cross Road, said, "Some of the areas where both peddlers and consumers hang around are near the police beat chowky outside Canossa School, BEST billing counter near the bus depot, outside Mint Quarters opposite the railway station and all over the beach and near the Durgah."
Stating that residents feel unsafe to stroll around in the night, Khan said, "There have been numerous cases of blade attacks in the area and it is very unsafe for women to walk freely. Cops are not vigilant in the nights."

Senior PI of Mahim police, Dastagir Mullah, however, claim that they have arrested 93 consumers and a few peddlers under Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in the past three months from Mahim. "People from all over the city come to the Durgah, beach and the church. The beggars get free food, money and lodging. But our drive has been very strong."
Adding that he has asked residents to cooperate with the police, he said, "We have sent more than 500 beggars to the Chembur shelter home in three months. We have asked the residents to call us up as soon as they spot a consumer or a peddler. We are on high alert and our effort is to make Mahim free of drugs and addicts."

Many cases of attacks by addicts reported
There have been numerous cases of blade attacks in the area and it is very unsafe for women to walk freely. Residents allege that the police are not vigilant in the nights. It is during the nights that the nuisance is rampant. "The beach is a secluded spot where several groups smoke up Charas and Ganja at any time during the day. That apart, near the railway station, they sit behind the parked school buses and abuse drugs after dark," said Rahul Purvaink, a resident of Mint Quarters. 

Senior PI of Mahim police, Dastagir Mullah, however, claim that they have arrested 93 consumers and a few peddlers under Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in the past three months from Mahim. "We have enhanced patrolling and deployed special squads," he said.

Locals believe that there is a bigger nexus operating in the area which makes the addicts thrive. They say, the police have not been able to nab the peddlers who supply narcotic substances to not just the beggars, but also to school and college students.




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