Consumption, seizure of adulterated heroin on rise in Himachal

About 60 percent of the 2,307 drug peddlers arrested in Himachal since November last year were involved in smuggling adulterated heroin chitta whose consumption is on the rise in the state, officials said.


PTI | Shimla | Updated: 27-11-2022 11:17 IST | Created: 27-11-2022 11:12 IST
Consumption, seizure of adulterated heroin on rise in Himachal
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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About 60 percent of the 2,307 drug peddlers arrested in Himachal since November last year were involved in smuggling adulterated heroin 'chitta' whose consumption is on the rise in the state, officials said. There has also been a four-fold increase in the seizure of chitta in the state from 3.4 kgs in 2017 to 14.9 kgs in 2021, they said.

With a surge in the number of addicts, a big market has been created for chitta in Himachal and addicts belonging to affluent families are also involved in peddling the drug which costs Rs 4000-6000 per gram, officials in the police department said.

There are 2,307 drug peddlers in the state out of which 80 percent (1,836) are from Himachal, 18 percent (422) from other states and two percent (49) foreigners, according to the Register Number 29 introduced by the Himachal Police on November 1, last year to maintain record of drug peddlers. Himachal is the only state in the country to maintain such a record.

“We have registered record cases against drug traffickers and made huge seizures and about 60 percent of the accused were held with chitta in 2022, though in small quantities,'' said DGP Sanjay Kundu. “The focus is on the big fish in the drug trade and forward and backward investigations are being done to nab the kingpins. Our initiatives are bearing results and we have introduced a new 'register of drug traffickers' which has helped us to keep strict surveillance over big smugglers”, he added. Properties of peddlers worth over Rs 12 crores have been attached through the ED and Ministry of Finance and the “robust trial management” system has led to expeditious trials in courts and improved convictions. We are destroying case properties in decided cases on a weekly basis to prevent larceny and theft of these drugs,'' he told PTI. Moreover, Nurpur area of Kangra district, which has a long border with Punjab and is endemic to heroin smuggling, has been made a police district to address drug trafficking, he stated. This year, a total of 1,732 persons have been arrested in 1,195 NDPS cases till October end and besides charas, opium, ganja, smack and cocaine, 7.9 kg of chitta has been seized, according to the data procured from the police department.

The number of people addicted to chitta has surpassed those addicted to cannabis (charas) and other hard drugs in Himachal, according to a survey conducted on over 1,150 drug users lodged in de-addiction centres in the state, said Convener of Nasha Nivaran Board (NNB) O P Sharma. Chitta (diacetylmorphine) is lethal as its consumption increases with passage of time and its overdose could even result in death, former Director, State Forensic Science laboratory, Arun Sharma said.

Examination of seized chitta samples by forensic experts pointed out that chitta supplied from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan (Golden crescent) route through Punjab to Kangra and Mandi districts of Himachal is more lethal as (trimethorphine and megaloblastic is mixed with heroin) which is highly addictive and results in fall of blood platelets. Continuous consumption of chitta for three-four months can lead to drop in platelets level to 10,000 and below and prove fatal, says Assistant Director NDPS, State Forensic Science laboratory, Junga Kapil Sharma.

The composition of chitta delivered to Nigerians in Delhi through Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand (Golden triangle) has a combination of heroine, paracetamol and dextromethorphan which is less lethal, he added.

Chitta users are basically multiple drug users. They drink, dope, consume opium and cannabis besides adulterated heroin, says Vikram Kuthiala, who runs a rehabilitation centre.

Easy access to drugs, peer pressure, strained interpersonal relations in the family are leading reasons for drug abuse, said CEO, HP State Mental Health Authority, Sanjay Pathak.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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