Malda district in West Bengal has had a long connection with drugs and it seems that won’t change anytime soon. Several recent drug rackets busted by the Delhi Police’s special cell have taken investigators to Malda from where drugs are being procured and then brought to Delhi to be supplied elsewhere in the country.

On Thursday, the Delhi police busted a drug cartel, members of which were carrying some 20 kg of fine or high quality heroin worth Rs 80 crore in the international market.

The Delhi Police’s special cell on Thursday nabbed two drug dealers, Mohd. Sahid and Irfan Hussain, both belonging to Uttar Pradesh, after receiving specific information that these two persons where carrying huge quantities of contraband. Mohd. Sahid and Irfan Hussain were arrested from Bhalaswa in Delhi when they were approaching the Golf Course area in a truck carrying 20 kg of heroin procured from  Malda district in West Bengal.

According to police sources, Refaquat, a drug gang member of Fatehganj, Poorvi Bareily, in Uttar Pradesh, used to procure fine quality contraband drugs from Najael Haque in Malda through his active partners and used to further transport them to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and sell them at very high prices. The heroin seized on Thursday was also being brought from Malda.

In June this year, another drug cartel, which used to smuggle drugs from the Malda district into Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police with 4 kg of heroin when they were entering Delhi.

According to special cell officials of the Delhi Police, they had arrested three persons—Ganesh Halder, Manik Biswas and Johri—who revealed that their kingpin Samir was from Malda and they were working for him. The three used to supply high value contraband to drug dealers in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

Even in May this year, the Delhi Police had busted another drug cartel from North Delhi’s Majnu ka Tila and had arrested three persons, Alam Sheikh, Shakeel and Jasvinder alias Ladi, who were working as the carrier, transporter and receiver of consignments respectively. The police had found leads to Malda from where they used to procure the drugs.

The police then had busted the durg cartel carrying 15 kg of opium worth Rs 1.5 crore in the international market. According to the police, investigations revealed that they used to procure these drugs from one Ibrahim in Malda.

Delhi Police has also said that the drug lords of Malda have connections with Bangladesh and many procure their drugs from Bangladesh and then smuggle them into India through the porous borders in Bengal and further push them into different parts of the state.

A senior Delhi Police official told this correspondent that Malda is becoming a hub for drug lords and drug cartels. “West Bengal’s Malda district is becoming a hub from where drugs like opium and heroin are procured and then sent to places like Delhi and Uttar Pradesh where the demand for such drugs is high. People in these states are ready to pay a very high amount of money for these kinds of drugs. Most of the cases that we have seen in recent years have some or the other link to Malda. The drug lords in Malda then use these huge amounts of money they get from selling drugs to buy modern weapons,” the official said.

According to local sources in Bengal, Malda still remains a hotbed of opium cultivation and even the local police administration is afraid to enter and hinder the “business” of the drug lords given their muscle power and “connection” with the local leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress. 

Police sources also claimed that drugs are even smuggled into and out of India to Bangladesh through the porous borders in Malda and this fetches huge amounts of money using which sophisticated weapons are brought into India through the Bangladesh border.

A police source from Bengal said, “Opium cultivation is rampant in some parts of Malda and these cultivations are guarded by goons carrying sophisticated weapons which even the Bengal police does not have. The opium is procured from the poppy cultivation which is also used to make high-end drugs like heroin which is sold at a huge price in the international market. Everybody knows about everything that is going on here, but they remain untouched. They are big people.”