With rampant smuggling of deadly drugs into the country, many lanes, by-lanes and even residential areas in the capital have turned into drug dens.
Evading eyes of law enforcers, including Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), deadly drugs like yaba, phensidyl, heroin and hemp enter the country through different bordering points every day, detective sources said.
In such a situation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the crime-busting elite force, to continue its drive against drug dealers.
“We’ve earned huge success by conducting drives against militancy. So I’ll request the elite force members to continue its operation against drugs like that of militancy,” she told the 14th founding anniversary function of RAB at its headquarters in Kurmitola on Thursday.
Detective police on Friday caught two brothers with 13 lakh yaba tablets in the port city Chattogram.
Deadly drugs like yaba are being smuggled into the country from neighbouring Myanmar through different coastal and land bordering points of Cox’s Bazar every day, detective sources said.
Some city-dwellers alleged that listed criminals and drug smugglers having link with dishonest policemen have turned many lanes, by-lanes even residential areas in the capital and its outskirts, including Keraniganj, Tongi, Savar and Siddhirganj areas, into a safe haven for drug business.
Youngsters, mostly school, college and university-going students, are reportedly getting addicted to these dangerous drugs.
From early morning to midnight, sales of drugs such as yaba, phensidyl, heroin, hemp and various sex-stimulating tablets go on in different city areas, including Uttara, Dhanmondi, Mirpur, Jatrabari and old Dhaka.
Due to the law enforcers’ weakness, drug traders run their business without any hassle at different city areas.
The footpath beneath the Mayor Hanif flyover at Chankharpool has become a safe haven for drug addicts and peddlers, locals said.
From marijuana to heroin – all kinds of drugs are sold here.After taking the drugs, the addicts often spend the night on the footpath, making it virtually inaccessible to pedestrians.
These drugs come from border areas like Kumilla and other places, including the outskirts of the capital such as Keraniganj and Jinjira, they said.
“Local peddlers buy these drugs from dealers and sell them here. Yaba is in high demand here,” Akash, a drug peddler, said.
A large number of the customers are youngsters. Some of them are students of nearby Dhaka Medical College, Dhaka University and Bangladesh University of Science and Technology, locals said.
“From university students to rickshaw-pullers, everyone comes here,” says Tariqul Islam, a resident in the city’s Nimtoli area.
He holds the law enforcers largely responsible for letting the place become a hub for drug-trading.
Such an open drug-peddling may badly affect local youngsters, said Nazrul Islam, a resident of Chankharpool area.
“In order to avoid police arrest, many infamous drug traders use closed circuit cameras in drug, so that they can carry on their illegal trade at various spots in the capital smoothly,” said DNC (Operation) Director Syed Taufiq Uddin Ahmed during a recent press briefing in the capital.
The striking teams broke 14 CCTV cameras installed by drug traders at various points in the capital, he said.
The number of drug addicts in the country has been estimated at 50, 00,000, he revealed. Eighty-five per cent of them are youths, while 20 per cent are women, he said.
Due to its availability, youngsters, mostly students, are being addicted to such drug items.
Like urban areas, yaba tablets are also spreading fast in most of the rural areas of the country.
With the rise in number of drug-addicts, crimes like killing and mugging have increased in different parts of country, including the capital, some city people said.
It was alleged that the law enforcers just play the role of on-lookers instead of taking action against the drug traders.
RAB Director (Media) Wing Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan said drug traders are often caught with drugs from different parts of the country.
They are also awarded various terms of imprisonment on charges of carrying drugs. But soon they get released from the jail on bail and get involved in the same crime again,” he added.