Bollywood, politics and the underworld. Sounds like a puzzle? Not quite. If the investigative agencies are to be believed, it’s just the opposite. In fact, after decades of cheek-by-jowl existence, much like life in Dharavi, these apparently independent pieces of the jigsaw are now inextricably interlinked, with narcotics the thread binding them together, as the drug dragnet strengthens and spreads its tentacles across Maharashtra, particularly Mumbai.
Sources from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) claim Maharashtra tops the list of cocaine users and Mumbai is the capital of the cocaine trade. According to the sources, authorities manage to seize less than six per cent of the drugs headed for Mumbai. Pune, Thane, Aurangabad and some districts in the Konkan belt have become lucrative markets for drug peddlers, the sources claim. “The end users are as young as 10 and as old as 75 years old,” says another source.