Instagram Identified as Drug Marketplace, Maharashtra DCM Fadnavis Vows ‘Decisive Action

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Instagram Identified as Drug Marketplace, Maharashtra DCM Fadnavis Vows 'Decisive Action

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Expressing deep concern, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis addressed the alarming surge in drug-related activities on Instagram, highlighting the platform’s transformation into a thriving marketplace for illicit substances. Speaking during the ongoing winter session of the Maharashtra state legislative council in Nagpur, Fadnavis emphasized the need for decisive measures to curb this burgeoning issue.

Fadnavis revealed that Instagram has evolved into a significant hub for drug transactions, where orders are placed, payments are made through GPay and UPI, and deliveries are executed seamlessly. Acknowledging the seriousness of the situation, Fadnavis responded to inquiries from legislators Mahadev Jankar, Sachin Ahir, Anil Parab, and others.

In response to the escalating drug trade, Fadnavis outlined concrete steps being taken to address the issue, including government engagement with courier companies to scrutinize parcels rigorously. Surprise checks, equipped with modern technology, are being conducted at courier offices to detect and curb drug-related activities. He also highlighted the sale of drugs through the dark net, a hidden and encrypted part of the internet.

The legislative session also addressed concerns raised by legislator Sachin Ahir regarding the case involving drug racketeer Lalit Patil and the removal of Sanjiv Thakur from the post of dean of Sassoon Hospital. Patil, identified as the kingpin of a recently busted drug racket, was part of a two-month-long operation resulting in the seizure of mephedrone valued at approximately Rs 300 crore. Fadnavis assured a thorough inquiry into the matter and pledged appropriate action.

The government has initiated stringent action against 172 Nigerians involved in drug-related offenses, establishing a dedicated detention center for those engaged in such activities. Addressing other concerns, Fadnavis informed the legislative council that 2,369 suspicious ‘paan’ shops near schools and colleges in Mumbai have been removed, and the government has seized 38,000 e-cigarettes. A crackdown on hookah parlors is also underway.

Leader of the opposition in the council, Ambadas Danve, raised the issue of illegal drug units operating in industries and factories that were subsequently shut down. Fadnavis acknowledged Danve’s information and assured that these closed industries were under thorough scrutiny, particularly in the context of manufacturing MD drugs involving various chemicals.