The All India Narcotics Control Bureau (General Directorate) is headquartered at RK Puram in Delhi in the vicinity of Sylvan. Across its border wall, though, Ambedkar Basti is a slum that combats the spread of drug addiction and smuggling.

With the National Commercial Bank making headlines for nearly a month as a result of the Aryan Khan drug case, the spotlight is on how it has failed to tackle the pressing problem behind the DG office for years. Ambedkar Basti is known for hosting drug users and being a drug trafficking hotspot.

On its face, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s Ambedkar Park in Ambedkar Basti, in the posh RK Puram district of South Delhi, is a green space with good playgrounds and rows of trees. South Delhi’s elites play on one end while shady crowds spread out in groups on the other, on the Basti border. Exploring the huts at that end of the park, against the wall next to the DG Staff camp at CRPF, one gets sneered at the NCB’s recent moves.

Ambedkar Basti (highlighted in red) is located behind the General Directorate of Narcotics Control Bureau. Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s garden is famous for hosting drug users, especially at night.

Drug residues all over the Basti

According to the locals, Alcohol, slapping, and illegal weed It is the most common intoxicant in the slums. There are nooks and crannies in the area, especially in the park, where drugs are sold and consumed. One of these huts was at the entrance to Basti, about a minute’s walk from NCB’s DG. Beautified by politicians from abroad, this hut reflects the reality of Basti. Inside it, one could see tin paper everywhere, with dozens of matches lying on the ground burning. Brown sugar, as it is called on the street, is mainly consumed here.

India abuses heroin (a derivative of brown sugar) more than any other country in South Asia. According to a United Nations report, “one million heroin addicts have been registered in India, and there are as many as five million unofficially.” Brown sugar accounts for a lot of heroin (AB) uses.

Just two days before I arrived in Ambedkar Basti, locals said, a fight broke out in the park. Most of the people who live here are economically weak, and addicted to drugs. crime follows. We see cases of fighting day after day in the garden. Every week or so, we hear somewhere, that something or someone has been stolen. The park is not safe for women after sunset. “People gamble, they take drugs out in the open and they make a mess,” said Suresh Chauhan, a social worker who grew up in Basti. Chauhan, who has now moved to a nearby urban colony, added that the Kejriwal government had promised to install CCTV cameras in Basti, but they had not yet fulfilled them. Meanwhile, CCTV cameras have already been installed in other colonies where crime rates are low.

prospects She approached Aam Aadmi Party MLA from RK Puram Pramila Tokas for her comment. She said, “The installation of CCTV cameras in the entire RK Puram constituency is going on at a predetermined pace. Due to the pandemic, the work has slowed down. But now, PWD officials have surveyed Ambedkar Basti in consultation with local residents and the cameras will be installed there between 12-25 November.”

When asked about her responsibility to solve the problem as the local legislator, she replied, “I have written letters to the police, highlighting the drug problem. I have also raised this issue several times in the district commission, most recently last month, to highlight complaints of the sale and consumption of illicit narcotics Legal in RK Puram circle groups. But no positive development could be seen, despite my efforts.

“Sho to Meri Gib Min Hai”

Basti’s social workers also submitted written complaints to the police. “In our latest complaint, which was signed by about 150 people, we reported about 25-30 of those people who were involved in drug dealing within the slums. Police officers used this complaint to extort money from them, without taking any serious action,” says Jaswinder Bhilwan, social worker and maker The opinion in the area which also runs an organization called Bali Sina, “They are still at large.” Now drug peddlers and even their family members are saying things like ‘SHO to Meri jeb mein hai’ (the home station officer in our jeep), he adds.

There are between 25 and 30 people running the drug trade here. When problems escalate due to drugs, which often leads to violence in slums, one or two of them are still low, but drug circulation continues as normal,” Suresh Chauhan says.

SHO Alpana Sharma from RK Puram Police Station says, “No complaints have been made recently to the police regarding this matter. I only took charge here 10 days ago. As soon as any such incident arises, the police will take strong corrective steps. We are making efforts to control it. People, especially children, should not indulge in such activities. Since I am new to this field, I will need some time to understand and work on this issue.”

Alcohol smuggled from UP, Haryana to Basti

On the floor inside the hut, along with the usual brown sugar chips, were several caps of orange-colored plastic bottles. These can also be seen lying all over the Basti.

Social workers Jaswinder Phelwan (center) and Suresh Chauhan (right) stand in front of a hut in Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s garden behind the National Commercial Bank headquarters. This cottage is notorious for hosting drug users.

Low quality and cheap alcohol locally known as Santra/Orangeis is popular here. Unlike other narcotic substances, alcohol is consumed in the open. That’s why people in Basti complain about alcohol when asked about drugs. bottles of Santra They can be seen lying in the garden and inside Basti drains.

Orange/Santra – Smuggled alcohol makes its way into the Basti easily. This bottle that reads ‘For sale in Haryana only’ is in Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s garden behind the General Directorate of National Commercial Bank.

For children, selling drugs is a career choice

“The school drop-out rate in Ambedkar Basti is very high. Once they start to reach IX and X classes, many of them drop out,” said Waris Masih, a social worker who has been active in Ambedkar Basti for more than 20 years. Waris, the founding trustee of Vision India The NGO, has been taking out-of-school educational aids and skills development initiatives for children in various slums of Delhi for a long time.He said, “The children of Ambedkar Basti are not very ambitious. They have two professional goals – to become MCD cleaners or to become dholwalas And dhols are played in marriages. Those who can’t do either of these are being pushed toward small jobs like rallying politicians. These choices are strongly dictated by drugs, as addicts look for quick money to buy them.”

During the Covid-19 epidemic, Waris’ efforts in Ambedkar Basti were halted because the area had been a red zone for so long. Even in those times, the supply of medicines continued. Street vendors used children to smuggle bags of drugs (Poria) across the barricades. We found a growing commotion near the barricades and checked their pockets. “That’s how we worked,” says Gaswinder.

Speaking to the Basti residents, it can be seen that they are very concerned about their children. Children who are addicted not only harm their health but destabilize their families as well. Children under the age of nine use drugs. “If the police are not able to control the problem, they should at least think about saving our children from this evil,” one resident said.

Rolling paper, a large number of burnt matches and a packet of chewing tobacco lie on the ground in Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s garden. Marijuana and brown sugar are suspected here. In the absence of lighters, children often use matches to heat chips containing brown sugar liquid.

Behind the drug the problems of class and class

In Ambedkar Basti, which has a population of about 8000 people, almost everyone is Dalit, with a large number of hand scavengers living there. One of the most stressful and dehumanizing jobs, it involves cleaning dry latrines and septic tanks, and this often leads many residents to abuse drinking and drugs on the run. Substance abuse trends can be seen wherever the same demographics exist. Even MLA Pramila Tokas confirmed that this is a problem not only in Ambedkar Basti, but also in other slums of RK Puram. Areas like Ekta Vihar, KD Colony and Bhanwar Singh camp were mentioned when we asked locals about the drug problem. Incidentally, the residential quarters of various government departments are located around Basti but no medicines are sold in those areas.

A scene from Ambedkar Basti. The DEA is behind the wall on the left.

An agency hungry for headlines for a nation hungry for sensation?

No one mentioned in this story has ever attempted to write directly to the central bank about the drug problem. The curiosity of social workers even peaked when they first discovered that the slums are located next to the main government agency responsible for drug control across the country.

The NCB is mostly in the news for its raids on Bollywood celebrities, landing them at most a few grams of banned substances, but of publicity. Meanwhile, behind the headquarters of the National Commercial Bank, prohibited substances are traded and consumed every day in kilograms.

The DEA has been contacted for comment. The version will be updated as soon as it responds.

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