Chitta Rawan Controversy…
This forenoon I went towards the house of Punjab Chief Minister for the first time since 2011. No, I had not gone there to meet the Chief Minister. Neither I have any wish to meet him nor will he ever want to meet me. Perhaps for the first time, we have identical views on any single issue. Anyhow the heavy metallic electronically operated bulletproofed main gate of his house was securely closed. The Chief Minister, I was told was on his luxurious farm house in Balasar, Haryana. I had gone there at the askance of Charanjit Singh Channi MLA, leader of Congress Legislative party. Punjab Congress MLAs have been on dharna demanding action against some ‘complacent’ Punjab police officer and some activists of the ruling elite who had on Dussehra day attacked Congress workers in Ludhiana when they tried to burn the effigy of ‘Chitta Rawan’. When the initial controversy broke out I could not fathom the reason there for. Later, however I came to know that ‘Chitta Rawan’ had some political connotations.
At the site of the dharna, I was asked to join in to which I politely refused. I am an anti-drug activist but I do not belong to any political party. I am ready to support anyone taking anti-drug stand but I do not want my anti drug movement to get politicised.
Let me get back to the caption of my blog post. For me the ‘Chitta Rawan’ has different connotations. I interpret it as ‘drugs per-se’, drugs as such; the entire spectrum thereof included. It starts from the drug lords , the Pablo Escobars and El Chapos of Punjab who include, at the top rung, a number of politicians assisted by a simple yet secret ‘multi levelled / layered / tiered ‘distribution system, which is secured by a private army of gangsters and several goons from amongst the police and a few from other security forces, most of them from lower and middle segments and few from the higher echelons thereof. Most of such guys had figured in the ‘infamous’ list of drug dons and smugglers which was prepared by intelligence wing of the Punjab police way back in 2007 and which the incumbent Punjab government is vary of letting out. While the former category is often both into drug running and receiving drug money, the latter is primarily the recipient of such money. One recent interaction with some of my sources in the underworld had revealed the shocking extent to which a certain police official had got into. He is alleged to have used a chopper to fly the drugs out, in not too distant a past.
The involvement of security personnel reminds me of the daring escape of the world’s most powerful drug don, the Sinaloa cartel kingpin ‘El Chapo’ aka ‘Shorty’ Guzman Leora. Way back in February 2014, he had managed to escape through an elaborate tunnel underneath his prison cell’s shower located in the Altiplano Federal Prison in Mexico. The entrance to his labyrinth was an 11/2 by 11/2 feet gap in shower floor which led to a 32 feet ladder into a mile long tunnel which was 5.5 feet high and 2’7” wide. Taller only by about one inch than his height, it was illuminated and had a ventilation system. To top it all, a motor cycle was also built onto the rails of this secret passage to facilitate a quick exit. The end of this tunnel opened into a non-descript home about half a mile away from any other nearby building. Thank god, as on date, involvement of ‘facilitators’ from amongst the security and police forces of Punjab is not even a distant fraction of the involvement that could possibly have been of the Mexican officials in the said case.
Coming back to Punjab, let’s talk about the real ‘Chitta Rawan’ and the Punjab police which has not been able to control this demon. Ever since the war hysteria created by a section of electronic media at the behest of certain powers that be the army has been moved up on the Indian borders with Pakistan there have been created ‘grave problems in the safe passage’ of drugs from across the international borders falling in Punjab. This has led to a ‘scarcity’ leading to a massive hike in the prices of opiates that is heroin / smack, leading again to a greater market and demand for homegrown pharmaceutical and synthetic drugs, besides of course the opium and poppy husk as also all types of liquor, ‘desi’, country made and cheaper variety of IMFL. High grade heroin, synthetic drugs, cocaine and imported liquor are no problem, anyway, for the ‘elite gentry’.
In Punjab, elections to a great extent are all about drugs and drug money. Shortage of the adulterated heroin, which is generally provided to drug habituated segment of electorate, right from several months in advance, has already become a grave issue in view of impending 2017 assembly elections. This distribution gains momentum as the elections close in. Rise in the prices of various categories of intoxicants, cheap liquor included has created the first of the problem for them. The second problem is the extremely slow yet welcome onset of a realisation amongst the ‘awakened youth’ who are opposed to drugs and use of intoxicants in the elections. This realisation has led to at least three deaths. We are not really aware of the innumerable such cases where youth are being threatened into silence by the ‘mob’.
Failure of even otherwise complacent Punjab police to control the crime wave and drugs is giving them red, if not black faces. Every force looks at some of the top ‘generals’ and emulates them. I personally know that most of the guys in higher echelons of Punjab police are good, damn good. But a few of them have unfortunately become ‘expert yoga practitioners’, capable of bending backwards to lick the feet of some of their political bosses. That is the beginning of the mad race and consequent longevity of the real ‘Chitta Rawan’, implying the drugs.
May god give wisdom to the Punjab Police.
May god bless Punjab and Punjabis…