Efforts to reintroduce LSD in Uttarakhand thwarted

Dehradun : An effort to re-introduce LSD, what was popularly known as ‘acid’ in the 1960s in Uttarakhand was thwarted when a special team of the police Special Task Force nabbed six persons, alleged to be a gang of drug smugglers into the state, including two females and the son of a cop, from the Kulhal Barrier on the Uttarakhand-Himachal Pradesh border on Friday.

The police recovered 1.800 kgs of high quality ‘Manala Cream’ (the best quality hashish that money can buy in Manali) from their possession and 16 drug papers.

The drug papers are stamp sized papers which are laced with the psychedelic drug LSD, which was a rave in the 1960s and was popularized in this part of the country when a very popular music group had visited the ashram of the then most well known swami at Rishikesh.

Police sources here claim that the alleged kingpin of the gang, Anil Chauhan, who was amongst those nabbed, was a regular in supplying quality hashish to his profile clientele, that comprised mostly of students belonging to respectable families and were studying in the number of private colleges and Universities here.

They claimed that he had a unique way of bringing the hashish into the city from Kullu or Manali. He would take five or six students with him, including females, on an all paid picnic trip to the holiday resorts and on the way back would come back in his car, while two or three students would be asked to come by bus carrying the contraband, well concealed in their baggage.

However, police sources said that this time, the students refused to part and insisted on returning in the vehicle itself. “There had been reports that Chauhan was dealing in drugs and his vehicle had been stopped on earlier occasions also, but nothing was recovered as the carriers were travelling by bus. But this time his lick gave way”, they claimed.

They said that on interrogation, Chauhan had revealed that the foreigners he had met during his dealings in hashish in Manali and Kullu had told him of the drug papers, which he had dicussed with his clients here and it was decided to try it out.

“As a result he had brought 16 papers and seeing their demand later would have started dealing in them along with hashish”, they claimed. Police sources said that the drug papers were available in Kullu, Manali and other tourists destinations of Himachal Pradesh at rates ranging from Rs 1000 to Rs 1500, and Chauhan was advised to sell them for Rs 2500 to Rs 3000.

“The large profit and easy to carry papers, which could be hidden anywhere, lured the kingpin into pushing the drug to his clients’, they claimed. In fact, they said that they were taken aback when they saw the drug papers, as they did not know what it was.

It was only with the help of the internet that they finally learnt what it was and that it was very popularly used in many rave parties in a number of tourist destinations of the country. But this is the first time eversince the state was formed that it was recovered in Uttarakhand.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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