Smack spreading tentacles in Haridwar district

Friday 08, 2021 | Avnish Kashyap | Roorkee

Though cannabis is a traditional drug not new to Uttarakhand, smack has become a menace in various parts of Haridwar district. While the smuggling of cannabis and liquor also continues, observers opine that a more damaging impact on citizens and society is being exerted by the failure of the authorities to check the continued smuggling of smack from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and its rising abuse in various parts of the district.

Haridwar district is known more for pilgrimage and wildlife. While Haridwar city is visited more for the Ganga Ghats and religious shrines apart from the Rajaji national park, Roorkee is known to be an education hub. Apart from this, the Piran Kaliyar Dargah also attracts a number of visitors. Though cannabis use is not new, the abuse of synthetic drugs including smack and pharmaceuticals has increased to an alarming level in recent years in various parts of the district. Youngsters comprise a large proportion of those abusing such substances.

The majority of smack is smuggled from Bareilly, Saharanpur and Moradabad in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh apart from other substances smuggled from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Women and children are also exploited to carry out the illicit drugs trade. On the directions of the director general of police Ashok Kumar, the Haridwar senior superintendent of police Yogendra Singh Rawat has been overseeing a crackdown on the illegal drugs business here. The police have achieved some success in recent months while executing this drive. Recently, two youths were caught by Jwalapur police with about 15 kilogrammes of Ganja.

Similarly, the police caught a man and woman near Shyampur railway crossing with 27 grammes of smack. As with other peddlers of smack, the duo told the police that they purchase smack from Bareilly in UP and sell it for a profit in parts of Rishikesh. The SIIDCUL police also recovered 8.40 grammes of smack from a youth while 15 grammes of smack was recovered from another man by the Pathri police. A man and woman found roaming suspiciously at Har Ki Paidi, when checked, were found to have 5.7 grammes of smack. There are several such cases of smack being seized from persons in different parts of the district in recent months. However, observers opine that despite the police efforts, the smuggling and sale of smack continues to thrive in the district as the police generally target the small peddlers instead of targeting the big dealers- most of whom are based in neighbouring UP.

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