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Drugs Part of Mumbai High Life

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 cell.

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.

(Source: IANS)

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