April 30, 2015 5:05:29 pm
The 41 gram of “meow meow” seized in four raids is just the tip of the iceberg, and police believe abuse of the drug—it has the chemical name of mephedrone and was banned in February—has increased among the youth in Pune. The police fear what is being smuggled into the city is much higher in scale.
In March, Pune Newsline had reported about the increasing popularity of “meow meow” among the city youth. Its increasing abuse was attributed to easier availability and lower cost than other banned drugs.
In the last two months after it was brought under the purview of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, Pune police seized 41 grams of “meow meow” in four cases, said Fattehsingh Patil, inspector of the Anti-Narcotics Cell of the Pune police.
Subscriber Only Stories
The police have arrested five persons, including three from Mumbai, in these four cases. The quantity of the contraband seized in individual cases is, however, very low compared to what was suspected to be in circulation, say police.
After various police wings in Maharashtra found increasing use of mephedrone, the state had written to the Centre asking the drug to be brought under the NDPS Act. In the last week of February, the Central government did so and possession of the drug was made illegal.
In a major seizure of mephedrone in March, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Customs Department seized over 400 kilogram of the drug from a manufacturing unit in Sangli and also from a vehicle on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway.
In March, a constable from Mumbai police was arrested and 114 kilograms of mephedrone was seized from his Satara home. And this month, Mumbai police arrested Shashikala Patankar alias Baby, one of the biggest “meow meow” peddlers.
An officer from Pune police said, “As per information we have, Pune gets its supply of mephedrone mainly from chemical manufacturing units in and around the district and also from Mumbai. The drug is brought
in consignments of half-a-kilogram to two kilograms.
But we have not done any major seizure as of now and our efforts are on. There is no doubt that the abuse of this drug is increasing very fast. We have come to know that peddlers also market it saying it increases sex drive and that it is safe. Our efforts to create awareness against this are also on.”
Another officer added, “There are some manufacturing units that have been raided. Another important source of the drug, difficult to trace, are chemical factories. Several such units are suspected to manufacture small quantities of the drug intermittently. Concerted efforts are needed to track down these sources.”
📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates