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Woman drug peddler held

On one of the busiest crossings in Dhakuria, stands a sari-clad woman, along with other passengers, waiting for a bus. But she is no ordinary bystander. She peddles drugs. Her face is familiar to those in the trade — both addicts and small-time peddlers. Suddenly, she drops her bag and starts sprinting, followed by a clutch of plainclothes policemen.

Acting on a tip-off, a South 24-Parganas police team busted a drug racket with the arrest of gangleader Rita Pyne on Monday night. She was caught peddling drugs. She dropped her bag in a roadside gutter while attempting to flee, but was soon surrounded and taken into custody.

Police said the contraband, in 940 small pouches and worth Rs 1 lakh, was recovered from the gutter later and two of Rita’s aides were also netted.

Rita goes under the aliases of Rita Das and Rikta Mondal. “She is believed to be a resident of Sonarpur. The duo, who assisted her in peddling, was identified as Babla Das and Narayan Biswas,” said Humayun Kabir, deputy superintendent of police (town).

Kabir said Rita enjoys political patronage and had been running the racket for a long time. “She was arrested from Kasba two years ago, but freed on bail shortly under political pressure. A divorcee, Rita would lure local youths to work for her on promises of a hefty fee,” Kabir added.

“She could not be netted earlier because she would ply her trade under several names. For months, we were keeping a close watch on her. Yesterday, we were tipped off that Rita had received a fresh consignment. But we rounded her up before she could sell the pouches,” Kabir said.

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