| A file picture of an anti-drugs rally in Siliguri
Siliguri, April 22: Residents of Ghughumali and Chayanpara area, located on the eastern outskirts of the town, today chased a drug peddler and recovered 34 packets of a narcotics mixture from a bag he threw away while fleeing.
Today’s incident comes less than a week after the ransacking of drug dealer Tamanna’s house in the Goalapatti area of Jhankar More. That action was sparked by the dumping of the body of a 19-year-old addict, who probably died of overdose, outside a temple on April 16.
Infuriated by the rise in drug peddling, residents had barged into the house, where Tamanna’s wife was present, prompting police to intervene and arrest her and two of her accomplices.
The police sharpened vigil after the incident. Raids were conducted in the town and the suburbs. Officials of Bhaktinagar police station raided Ghughumali and arrested two women, identified as wives of Khokon Byapari and Gopal Das, both known to be drug peddlers, last week. More than 20 kg of cannabis was recovered from them.
“Despite these arrests and regular police raids, peddlers continued with their activities in the area,” said Uttam Sarkar, a Ghughumali resident. “A youth was spotted today selling drugs in the locality. Some residents chased him and, while fleeing, he dropped a bag from which 34 purias of drugs were recovered.”
These were later handed over to the police. The peddler was identified as Shyamal Ghosh, a local youth, suspected by residents to be an addict himself. The nature and purity of the drug seized are yet to be confirmed.
Confirming the incident, Achinta Gupta, the officer-in-charge of Bhaktinagar police station, said: “We had made a couple of arrests last week to stop the practice. Regular raids are on to nab peddlers and stop the selling of drugs in the area.”
Referring to the drug dealers in Ghughumali, the police official said Khokon and Gopal were the masterminds in the area. “Since we have been keeping a close watch on their activities, they have involved their wives in the trade and are themselves lying low,” another official said.
“We have information that they get the drugs from Lalgola, Murshidabad, and sometimes purchase it locally as well. Their probable connection with Tamanna’s gang cannot be ruled out either.”