Mangaluru: People accused of buying and selling of illegal drugs were on Monday paraded at the District Police Ground by the office of the Commissioner of Police, the paraded however made it more evident than ever that youngsters are the primary targets of the drugs mafia. A majority of those who were paraded on Monday were either youngsters or middle-aged men.

Since 2016, the local police has issued show-cause notices to 180 individuals accused of dealing and trafficking drugs. The number of individuals present during Monday’s parade was 90, of which 6 were students.

The Police officers and staff spoke to each accused individual in a separate one-on-one session, where their details were collected, and were warned. Police CCB Inspector Shivaprakash R Naik and other officials addressed the accused youngsters separately and advised them to live a better life while staying away from drug-related activities. Police Commissioner Vikash Kumar conducted the inquiry and warned the accused that if they persisted in such activities again, they would be charged under the Goonda Act and prosecuted under law. 

Rowdy-sheeters can be easily identified. After locating their whereabouts, they will be asked to come and made to stand in a parade. But, those who are accused in cases of dealing drugs tend to change the contact numbers that they registered at the police station. From their place of residence, they were located and asked to come. The police personnel said that in the last two days, information about the accused were collected, after which they were brought to the department. 

Most criminal cases Related to drugs!

According to the police, most of the criminal cases involved drugs. It has been observed that under the influence of drugs and other narcotic substances, many criminal activities are carried out without any guilt or hesitation. While drugs are used for recreational purposes that lead to addiction, on one hand, they also lead the consumer to commit crimes.

LSD at parties, tablets for students!

In Mangaluru, most drug-related cases are associated with marijuana usage. In a most recent case, 132kg of marijuana was seized. In the city, students are dealt with drugs almost always in the form of tablets. Similarly, pubs and parties are supplied with LSDs. Cannabis is usually supplied to the youngsters working as daily wage workers and labourers, while College students are supplied with Cocaine, MDMA, and charas. Mangaluru City CCB Inspector Shivaprakash R Naik also said that along with the consumption of drugs like Ganja, Cocaine, Marijuana, Brown Sugar, and Heroine, some are also addicted to sniffing Whiteners for their heady smell.

There are allegations that postal stamp-shaped LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is being supplied from abroad. Drugs are being supplied to Mangaluru from other states. Police Commissioner Vikash Kumar also says that the allegation of drugs being supplied from overseas is undeniable. The LSD drug is synthetically made from acid and it is almost impossible for anyone to notice. This postal stamp-shaped drug is packed using many colorful and captivating cartoon images. The psychedelic effect of these drugs lasts about 12 hours. Experts say that addicts believe the illusion that these drugs offer a kind of happiness.

Break Made During Lockdown!

According to the Mangaluru City Police Commissioner, they made headway and received a break about narcotics trafficking in April and May, during the Corona lockdown in the city. In February of 2020, six cases were registered in Mangaluru City Police Commissionerate and nine were arrested. In these cases, a total of 21.89 grams of MDM and 1.064 kg of marijuana combined amounted to drugs worth Rs 1, 15,650. Other Valuable drugs were also seized during that operation. In March, with the arrest of four accused in three cases, (valued at Rs 42,000) 2.700 grams of marijuana were seized.

In June, when the lockdown was being relaxed Police seized 410 grams of marijuana and 14 grams of marijuana hashish oil. Two of the accused were arrested in both cases. In July, 9 people were arrested in 3 cases, while the police seized 2.696 kg of marijuana (valued at Rs 85,000).

Massive Quantity of Drugs Seized In August!

In August 2020, the Mangaluru city police commissioner's jurisdiction seized drugs valued at Rs. 37, 75,300. This includes 153 MDMA Pills, 8.25 grams of MDMA Pills, and 139.336 kg of marijuana were seized and nine individuals were arrested in four cases. 

Among the 90 accused, 6 are students

Since January 2019, 20 cases of drug trafficking, supply and consumption have been reported. In the last two months, 10 cases have been registered. In a recent drug bust, 132kg of marijuana was seized. Today, out of 180 individuals convicted of drug trafficking and supply cases who were expected and only 90 showed up before the police. Among the ones that did show up, six are students.

-Vikas Kumar, Commissioner, Mangalore Police Commissioner

Bags of marijuana found among sacks of bananas

Recently, three bags containing marijuana were found in a vehicle carrying banana granules that were being supplied from Kerala. Inside the vehicle, the bags carrying marijuana were placed between the sacks containing the bananas. There were over 30kg of marijuana which costs around Rs 40 lakh. During the last two months of the lock-down, the supply of narcotics had all but stopped, but it began immediately after the end of lock-down. Reportedly, drugs are also trafficked via the rail route to the city.

-Shivaprakash R. Naik,Inspector, CCB, Mangaluru.

 

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This report was first published in thewire.in and has been posted here without any alterations or editing. To read the original report, CLICK HERE

New Delhi: Over 650 members of civil society have demanded a stop to the ‘vendetta politics’ against Harsh Mander and other activists, adding that the Centre has been “misusing” regulatory institutions and laws like the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act (FCRA) to harass civil society institutions.

The statement comes after a case was registered under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act over alleged violations by two shelter homes in South Delhi which were established by the Centre for Equity Studies (CES), an NGO that Mander is associated with.

In the statement, the signatories said that the Centre’s targeting of Mander, a former IAS officer, and the CES is a continuation of the “politics of vendetta” and is symptomatic of how “those who dissent are being dealt with in India today”.

“The egregious attacks on the Centre for Equity Studies ranging from wild accusations of sexual misconduct in two of the children’s homes run by the organisation to the fishing expedition being undertaken by the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police are but two examples of the recent attacks on Harsh Mander and the institutions associated with him,” the statement says.

Condemning “the attacks on Harsh Mander and the Centre for Equity Studies”, the signatories demanded an end to “vendetta politics” and that regulatory institutions and laws should not be “misused” to harass civil society institutions. “Allow democratic spaces for civil society to operate and give due recognition of their role in nation-building,” the added.

The full statement, along with the list of signatories, has been reproduced below.

Civil Society statement for Harsh Mander/Centre for Equity Studies

Stop vendetta politics against civil society and persecution of citizens associated with civil society

One of the most disturbing trends in India in the recent years, along with the decline in Constitutional values and shrinking space for civil society, is the demonisation and persecution of activists and organisations. The active hounding of Harsh Mander, a former bureaucrat and one of the most respected names in civil society, and the institutions he is associated with like the Centre for Equity Studies (CES) is the most recent example of the vendetta politics of the government.

An officer of the Indian Administrative Service, Harsh Mander quit the civil service in 2002 in the wake of the Gujarat riots and has since then been a part of significant civil society initiatives. He has served as the head of ActionAid India, co-founder of the Centre for Equity Studies, co-founder of Karwan-e-Mohabbat – an initiative to promote love and communal harmony, and was member of the National Advisory Council chaired by the Chairperson of the UPA. His close association with people’s movements including the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI) amongst others, gave him a unique perspective on social changes processes that is rare amongst social activists. Throughout his career, Harsh Mander’s central concerns have been the most marginalised people in India – the urban homeless, leprosy patients, Dalits and Muslims, and children living on the streets.

It is this aspect of his work that encapsulated the activities of the Centre for Equity Studies since it was founded more than two decades ago. Over the years, CES has emerged as one of the leading pro-poor policy institutions, bridging grassroots actions with constructive engagement on social policy. Till 2014, CES ran a network of 51 children’s homes across the country covering hundreds of children and was responsible for the Central Government’s guidelines on the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for street children. CES brings out the annual India Exclusion Report which has emerged as one of the most authoritative report on social exclusion covering the most marginalised communities in the country. Between 2004 and 2014, CES was part of many of the processes for landmark rights-based legislations like the National Food Security Act and the Right to Information Act.

That the current regime has now chosen to target a distinguished civil society organisation like CES in the continuing politics of vendetta to silence Harsh Mander is symptomatic of how those who dissent are being dealt with in India today. The egregious attacks on the Centre for Equity Studies ranging from wild accusations of sexual misconduct in two of the children’s homes run by the organisation to the fishing expedition being undertaken by the Economics Offences Wing of Delhi Police are but two examples of the recent attacks on Harsh Mander and the institutions associated with him.

As civil society leaders representing a very wide range of constituencies and work across the country, we unequivocally condemn the attacks on Harsh Mander and the Centre for Equity Studies and demand:

  1. An end to vendetta politics towards Harsh Mander and the Centre for Equity Studies
  2. Stop misusing regulatory institutions and laws like the FCRA to harass Civil Society institutions
  3. Allow democratic spaces for civil society to operate and give due recognition of their role in nation building