VISAKHAPATNAM: In a joint operation, the city police along with the task force police (CTF), detained five youngsters, who were allegedly involved in circulation of contraband drugs among college students here Monday. The youth, all dropouts used to sell Fortwin injections, an addictive pain-killer to students. The accused were identified as P Suresh (30), a resident of Gajuwaka, Mohammed Hussain (27) of Maddilapalem, Ch Maheswara Rao (35) of Poorna Market, P Appalaraju (26) of Allipuram and M Santosh kumar (30) of Kancharapalem. The police also seized 1,210 vials of Fortwin injections, worth `1.5 lakh, from the gang.
Suresh, Maheswara Rao and Appalaraju have previous history of sale of drugs. Acting on a tip-off, the police team arrested the trio and based on the information provided by them caught the remaining two persons on Monday morning from different locations.
DCP (law and order-I) M Trivikrama Varma told newsmen that the accused were undergraduate dropouts and were working as drivers, electricians and daily wage labourers in the city. To earn a few extra bucks, the youth started selling Fortwin, which is often used as a pain killer by pregnant women and heart patients. The sale of this drug is banned in the city without a doctor’s prescription. But the gang used to sell them to students, who use them as a recreational drug and for deep intoxication. Police said that the accused used to procure the vials from Khurda, Bhadrak and other areas in neighbouring Odisha, where its sale is not restricted.
The accused used to purchase the vial at the rate of `5 per piece, with a packet of 10 injections costing around `50. They used to sell a vial for `150 to `200 in the city.
To sell the drugs, the gang members had some fixed spots in the city which college students and rich people used to frequent, like Allipuram, Urvasi Junction, Flyover Junction near RTC complex, Poorna Market and Andhra University College of Engineering grounds.
Police said that addiction to the drug will cause health hazards like low blood pressure and heart attack. That apart, with users bound to use the same syringe multiple times, the risk of contracting diseases like AIDS is also extremely high.
Mahesh, an accused, told Express that generally students place order for drugs through mobile. In some cases the students visit the drug sellers’ den to buy drugs directly. The business is mostly run by publicity and by word of mouth.
Sources said that some elite college students and affluent members of the society have become addicted to the drug, which has serious side effects. For instance, an addict who does not get his fix on time can faint, forcing desperate addicts to spend any amount of money to get the drug. Sources added that there are even girls among the addicts.
Speaking to Express, DCP Trivikrama Varma said that as of now they have found only male addicts among the regular customers of the gang. But he admitted that there is a chance of girls getting addicted as well after being influenced by male friends.