Teenage girls peddle brown sugar in Bhubaneswar slums!

Bhubaneswar: In the absence of stringent action by authorities, drug peddlers have turned many slums in the capital city into brown sugar trafficking hubs. Surprisingly, the contraband drugs are being sold with impunity just a stone’s throw away from the nearby police station.

But what is even more alarming is that girls in the age group of 10-15 are engaged in selling the drugs.

OTV has stumbled on one such illegal brown sugar den in the Haldipadia slum here. Investigation by OTV has revealed that children, mainly girls, are used by the racketeers to sell the stuff to avoid the prying eyes of the police. They keep small quantities of the drugs for sale to avoid police attention. The packets are sold for anything between Rs 100 and Rs 500 while ‘code words’ like ‘patta’ and ‘godia’ make sure that only ‘legitimate’ customers can access the illegitimate substance.

Investigations have further revealed that in a majority of the cases, the prospect of ‘quick money’ lures whole families to plunge into the business. To make a quick buck, even school going children are engaged in the illegal trade.

According to a peddler, students are their major customers.

The police however has a different tale to tell.

“Many a times we raid various places to curb it (the business). Its not that we are facing problems and unable to raid effectively. We always try to bust the total network of the illegal drug peddling. A special squad has already been formed and we hope that we will be successful in taking a control over it very soon,” Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrat Bhoi said.

The ease and impunity with which brown sugar is being smuggled into and sold inside the capital city certainly raises serious concerns over the role and efficacy of the police and excise administration.