Chinsurah, Jan. 10: A district judge of Hooghly has sentenced four drug dealers to up to 50 years in prison.
Second additional district judge M.M. Banerjee passed the sentence on Ramdeo Yadav, Gopal Mondol, Krishna Mondal and Debashis Mondol, who were arrested by officers of the Narcotics Control Bureau from Bandel station on July 17, 2000, with 850 g of heroin. The haul was valued at about a crore in the drug mart.
Yadav was sentenced to 50 years in prison and fined Rs 5 lakh. Failure to pay the amount will add another two-and-a-half years in prison. The others have been sentenced to 30 years each and fined Rs 3 lakh, with a provision to serve one-and-a-half years extra on failing to pay up.
Yadav, from Uttar Pradesh, was the king pin in the gang that was smuggling the 850-g consignment to Bangladesh. The ultimate destination of the heroin was the US. The other three were local traders. “This sentence is the first to my knowledge that has sent drug smugglers to jail for such a long period,” said R.M. Meena, director of the bureau’s eastern region. “This is a warning to all drug dealers.”
The verdict, experts said, was the result of an amendment in the Narcotic Drugs and Pscychotropic Substances Act. The amendment raised the maximum jail term on a single drug dealing offence to 21 years from 10.