Bhubaneswar: In a modern day replay of the Arabian Nights story in which the code word “Khul ja Sim Sim” opens the doors to breathtaking riches, the code word ‘Sim Card’ opened the doors for Odisha Television to the shadowy world of brown sugar peddling in Bhubaneswar. These are apparently ‘code words’ that convince the drug peddler that you are a legitimate customer of his illegitimate substance.
Shockingly, brown sugar is being smuggled into and sold inside the capital city with impunity, raising serious concerns over the role and efficacy of the police and excise administration.
The den for illegal narcotic trade that OTV stumbled on is the Haladipadia slum in Bhubaneswar where brown sugar packets sell for anything between Rs 120 and Rs 160.
“We bring brown sugar worth between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.3 lakh in one go. Then we break the stuff into small packets. Earlier ‘Sim Card’ was our code word. After it was caught out, now ‘Godi’ is being used. There are customers who buy as many as 10 packets. Even college students buy it,” said a peddler.
According to this peddler, brown sugar is being sourced from Jaleswar and Balasore. At time,s they get the brown sugar on their own, while sometimes they use women conduits. Customers are then arranged with the help of small children. Students are their major customers, he reveals.
Around 5-6 people are involved in selling brown sugar in the basti.
Interestingly, a drug peddler, while accepting the risks and fear involved in the business, goes on to reveal that even some policemen also buy the stuff from them.
“We are raiding places from where the drug originates in huge quantities before being sold in small packets. If we receive some tips or inputs regarding brown sugar peddling, we will definitely raid the area and curb such practices,” said Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi.
The revelation of such flagrant trafficking in the capital city only raises questions as to whether the police and excise administration is totally oblivious of such practice or has deliberately turned a blind eye.