The spotlight is back on drugs and high life in Mumbai with both Rahul Mahajan, now being treated in a Delhi hospital, and Sahil Zarru, who is suspected to have supplied him drugs, being known faces in the party circuit here.
"Cocaine, ecstasy, acid and heroin, commonly known as lifestyle drugs,
are a rage with the rich and the famous in Mumbai. Though both lethal
and illegal, substance abuse is rampant in party circuits or private
functions here," said a senior official of Mumbai's anti-narcotic
Buoyed by the ready markets here, South American and Chinese drug
cartels have increased their cocaine trafficking in both Mumbai and
Delhi, according to police officials.
"The detention of six Nigerian nationals in Delhi only reaffirms that
the drug cartels are increasingly using foreign students studying in
Mumbai and Delhi, mainly Sudanese, Nigerians and Kenyans as dealers
and couriers to smuggle cocaine," said a Mumbai Narcotics Control
Bureau (NCB) official.
"Mumbai alone has 30-35 big-time drug suppliers with a well-knit
network of over 150 dealers who cater to high society and high profile
customers like Bibek Moitra and Rahul Mahajan on a regular basis," the
official told IANS.
The NCB official said though many of the dealers have been arrested in
the past, they keep resurfacing.
"They get back to their lucrative trade once they are out on bail or
acquitted. After the arrest of actor Fardeen Khan in May 2005 for the
possession of cocaine, most drug peddlers have become cautious."
According to sources in the Mumbai party circuit, both Rahul - the son
of late Bharatiya Janata Party (BHP) leader Pramod Mahajan who has
been hospitalised for suspected drug overdose - and Sahil are well
known among the city's glitterati.
"Rahul is a regular at the city hot-spots and parties in upmarket
discotheques in Bandra, Colaba and Khar," said a regular partygoer.
"Sahil too is a known face in the party circuit. He is known to
frequent several bars in south Mumbai," he said.
City Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) Anup Pathak said
police were aware of substance abuse in high-flying parties but when
the police conduct raids, they are labelled "party-spoilers".
"It is a double standard society we have here. We are aware that
youngsters are using drugs behind closed doors, in the privacy of
their homes or at private parties. How can we check this? Unless we
get an official complaint, we cannot act or make arrests. Even if the
complaints are anonymous, we can arrest the abuser," Pathak said.