Narcos decoded.

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 2.53.46 PMNarcos or narcotics are basically addictive drugs that reduce the user’s perception of pain and induce euphoria (a feeling of exaggerated and unrealistic well-being). The English word narcotic is derived from the Greek narkotikos , which means “numbing” or “deadening.”

India’s long found battle with the issue of illegal drug trafficking as well as illegal drug trade has not been able to pull up as much concern as the other insignificant issues have managed to, bothersome as it might be, the choices out are slender. However a lot is written about, spoken and debated on how the northern States of India including the Punjab and Haryana have been incandescent in cases involving illegal drugs and narcotic substances trafficking. What however has been ignored is the fact that each day tons of drug cartels are brought into the lesser known north-eastern States of India. These States mainly include Meghalaya, Assam, Manipur, given the drugs scenario. It undoubtedly has been a huge concern for the country to stop the import and manufacture of Opium in the country. The reasons for the same are mainly two. Firstly the region of north-eastern India witnesses a higher youth ratio than most parts of India and secondly and more importantly the “Golden Triangle”, which in this particular context refers to the border regions between Thailand, Burma and Laos and when gold was used by Chinese traders to pay for opium grown there.In Southeast Asia the term is synonymous with the opium and heroin trade.

 

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Now what is known most definitely is the fact that the state of Punjab which is usually dubbed as India’s granary mostly because of the agricultural prowess and the quality of its food products, the state of Punjab is now seen as a haven for drug traffickers because of its geographical proximity to the states of the ‘Golden Crescent’ (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran). Their illegal opium production has made India, and specifically the state of Punjab, extremely vulnerable to the most voluminous trafficking of heroin throughout the country. This has been steadily increasing since the 1980’s, when the drugs began to be redirected through India since the traditional Balkan route had to be shut because of Iran-Iraq war.

Punjab accounts for half the cases which are registered in India under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, and for one-fifth of the heroin seizures in India. As of September 2014 , the Punjab police had already seized around 450 kilos of heroin, and 13,000 people have been arrested in trafficking and selling the drug. According to some independent studies, it was found that approximately 70% of the youth in Punjab between 16-35 years of age seems to be gripped by the devastating drug addiction, a direct cause of the ever proliferating drug trade and trafficking across the Indo-Pak border.

 

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Drugs are packed and sealed before crossing the border from Pakistan to India by throwing them across the fence on predetermined and decided spots for pickups. Sometimes, the drugs are bundled separately and the bundles are tied together and are inserted through the fence or even through an underground tunnel within rubber tubes, with a thread dangling on the other side to pull the drugs out.

These appalling statistics come as no surprise when the investigations uncover and bring to the surface the links between drug traffickers and politicians in the drug racket. This has aided in crippling the generation of addicts not only in Punjab, but in India as well. Addicts and former police personnel who were involved in the illicit drug trade have confirmed the involvement and linkage of political activists and drug peddlers in the state. In previous years, the Golden Triangle region had witnessed almost exclusive production of opium, from which heroin was manufactured and trafficked to various parts of the world. In recent times, the Myanmar part of this region has been dominated by manufacture of drugs such as amphetamines and methamphetamines, which can be produced cheaply in small, hidden laboratories, without the need for acres of exposed land.

In conclusion, although India has made attempts to control this problem by adopting strategies of reduction of drug supply and demand, it needs to act on a much higher scale involving a 3 tier approach: firstly, strengthening of existing laws and possibly creation of new ones, secondly increasing security at the borders; and lastly actively co-operating with neighbouring countries and other members of the international community. At the grassroots level it is of significant importance to address the social impact of drug addiction in an efficient manner, through ensuring that schools/college students are aware of the health and legal consequences, establishing proper rehabilitation centres in places that may lack them, such as certain regions in the North East which are affected directly but aren’t properly equipped with treatment options.

 

An Unfinished Battle..

HUMAN TRAFFICKING.. the second most organized crime in the entire world after trade of drugs and arms.

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Imagine someone deciding your value and selling you off to someone whose totally unknown to you, to a unknown place, somewhere where you’re forced into something you never dreamt of in your wildest nightmares, imagine landing up there one day ! Seems disastrous, isn’t it? every year 11th of January is recognized to be a day for spreading awareness on human trafficking and hence I deemed it fit to bring up this topic.

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This is merely the beginning of a never ending nightmare, which zillions of girls and women face each day, across the world. Girls and women are sold off to prospective buyers and pushed either into flesh trade, or  into bonded labor. Irrefutable is the fact that trafficking of women and children is a grave violation of human Rights and one of the most serious organized crimes of the day, transcending cultures, geography and time. The response by the agencies concerned in addressing the issues has been far from satisfactory, which has exacerbated the violations and harm to the trafficked persons. No wonder, the vulnerable sections have become more prone to trafficking. The spate of incidents reported from different parts of the country, where thousands of children remain untraced, is a symptom of the serious dimension of trafficking. In order to address this issue, there is a need for empowering the Law Enforcement agencies, i.e., police, prosecutors, judiciary, correctional administrators, development administrators as well as the social activists and the media so that they are fully empowered with knowledge, skills and appropriate attitude. There is a vast difference between human trafficking and prostitution.

iopoIn the language of trafficking, India constitutes a country of origin, transit and destination for trafficked persons. In 1996, a report published by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Asia Pacific, reported that there were 2.3 million women in prostitution in India, a quarter of whom were minors, in over 1,000 red-light districts all over the country. Recent trends disclose the alarming fact that the age of entry into sexual slavery is rapidly decreasing, against the backdrop of steadily rising numbers of both women and children being inducted into commercial sexual exploitation.

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Trafficking is the illicit and clandestine movements of persons across national borders, largely from developing countries, and some countries with economies in transition, with the end goal of forcing women and girls into sexually or economically oppressive and exploitative situations for profit of recruiters, traffickers, crime syndicates and other activities (e.g. forced domestic labor, false marriages, clandestine employment, and false adoption).’ – United Nations General Assembly, 1994. It also maybe called the recruitment and transportation of a person, within and across national borders, by means of deceit, violence or threat of violence, abuse of authority or dominant position for work or services which may result in forced laboror slavery like practices. Victims of trafficking are exploited and tortured for the financial gains of their exploiters. An estimated 5 lacs of women and children are trafficked every year with an annual increase of 10% of which 20 – 30 % are below 13 years of age. Children are mainly trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, begging, child labor or for adoption purposes. Trafficking takes place either from state to state or through international borders. In most of the trafficking cases that are tried in court, the children are rescued after they have been trafficked to some place. The Government of India penalizes trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation through the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA). Prescribed penalty under the ITPA – ranging from seven years’ to life imprisonment – are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. India also prohibits bonded and forced labor through the Bonded Labor Abolition Act, the Child Labor Act, and the Juvenile Justice Act. Indian authorities also use Sections 366(A) and 372 of the Indian Penal Code, prohibiting kidnapping and selling minors into prostitution respectively, to arrest traffickers. Penalties under these provisions are a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment and a fine.

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Trafficking does not mean prostitution. They are not synonymous. In understanding trafficking, one should delink it from prostitution. As per the existing law, Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956 (ITPA) prostitution becomes an offense when there is commercial exploitation of a person. If a woman or child is sexually exploited and any person gains out of the same, it amounts to commercial sexual exploitation (CSE), which is a legally punishable offense wherein the culpability lies against all exploiters. Trafficking is the process of recruiting, contracting, procuring or hiring a person for CSE. Therefore, trafficking
is a process and CSE is the result. In the past decade, the volume of human trafficking has grown to the extent that it is now the third largest form of transnational organized crime after firearms and drugs. In India, the scale of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking is steadily rising despite the existence of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956.

Trafficking is an organized crime. Therefore, prevention and combating trafficking is possible only if the law enforcement agencies deal with the issues from the perspective of organized crimes. An essential aspect of organized crime is that there are multiple crimes and multiple criminals having direct or indirect linkages. Therefore, investigation of one crime should lead to other crimes and other criminals. Similarly investigating one suspect /criminal should lead to other crime/criminals. This is possible only when the intelligence emanating from each instance is collated, consolidated and disseminated. Since the investigations of crimes are mostly done at the junior level in the police hierarchy, who may not have much networking and liaison, especially outside their limited jurisdiction, the police managers/leaders have to take initiative in consolidation and dissemination of criminal intelligence. Given the dimensionsof trafficking, intelligence should be all pervading and cannot be segregated into distinct pockets of source, transit and destination areas. Moreover intelligence includes both strategic and tactical components.

My only prayer to this cruel world is.. that the little girl you’ll are trafficking is someone’s piece of heart, is someone’s hope, someone’s dream. She is the one who is someone’s daughter, sister, wife, mother and much much more. She has all the rights to live normally and freely, she has all the rights to fulfill her desires, her family hope’s that lingered upon her, and by doing this, you’re proving nothing but how slavery is still prevalent in this so called FREE world.

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The Dark Side Of The Juveniles.

Mumbai, 27th November;

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Today I’m beginning with a rather receptive topic, that being of “JUVENILE DELINQUENCY“. Has anyone ever paid heed to the fact that today there are zillions of arch-criminals who get away with the vicious crimes they commit? Be it rape cases or burglary. It could be the smallest of crimes to the most high-profiled. It is a rather upsetting thought to my mind that many countries across the globe do not punish such young criminals, rather they prefer to send them to shelter homes or other such places wherein there would be a ray of hope that they’ll show up as better individuals tomorrow in the society and the outside world. It is seen as a crime committed as an act of innocence if committed by a juvenile. But hold on, If the Juvenile (someone who hasn’t completed his/her eighteenth year of age) has the mental awareness of what he/she is doing, he/she is aware of the consequences that it might lead on too, then too you would consider him/her act as an act committed out of innocence? Would you claim that a juvenile who for instance committed rape on a young woman did it as a matter of innocence? That he wasn’t apprehensive of what the upshot of his actions would be? Absolutely not.

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                ‘Juvenile delinquency’ has occupied an important place in discussions regarding criminal law in the country. The Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2000 in India was enabled to ensure protection of the rights of juveniles and lays down provisions to be adhered to while dealing with a juvenile in conflict with law. After the “DELHI GANG-RAPE CASE” issue respect to penances prescribed under the Act is much-debated. While a maximum period of imprisonment is laid down, there has been no attempt to grade the offences as per their nature or gravity. I’ll provide you’ll with a briefing of 2 cases, wherein juveniles were involved, and the offence being rape. The Delhi rape case is popularly referred to as the “NIRBHAYA RAPE CASE”.

 Given below is the briefing;

The victims, a 23-year-old woman and her friend, were returning home on the night of 16 December 2012 after watching the film Life of Pi in Saket, South Delhi. They boarded an off-duty charter bus at Munirka for Dwarka that was being driven by joyriders at about 9:30 pm (IST). There were only six others on the bus, including the driver. One of the men,minor had called for passengers telling them that the bus was going towards their destination. The woman’s friend became suspicious when the bus deviated from its normal route and its doors were shut. When he objected, the group of six men already on board, including the driver, taunted the couple, asking what they were doing alone at such a late hour.

When the woman’s friend tried to intervene, he was beaten, gagged and knocked unconscious with an iron rod. The men then dragged the woman to the rear of the bus, beating her with the rod and raping her while the bus driver continued to drive. Medical reports later said that the woman suffered serious injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals due to the assault, and doctors said that the damage indicated that a blunt object (suspected to be the iron rod) may have been used for penetration. That rod was later described by police as being a rusted, L-shaped implement of the type used as a wheel jack handle.

According to police reports the woman attempted to fight off her assailants, biting three of the attackers and leaving bite marks on the accused men. After the beatings and rape ended, the attackers threw both victims from the moving bus. Then the bus driver allegedly tried to drive the bus over the woman, but she was pulled aside by her male friend. One of the perpetrators later cleaned the vehicle to remove evidence. Police impounded it the next day.

The partially clothed victims were found on the road by a passerby at around 11 pm (IST). The passerby phoned the Delhi Police, who took the couple to Safdarjung Hospital, where the female victim was given emergency treatment and placed on mechanical ventilation. She was found with injury marks, including numerous bite marks, all over her body. According to reports, one of the accused men admitted to having seen a rope-like object, assumed to be her intestines, being pulled out of the woman by the other assailants on the bus. Two blood-stained metal rods were retrieved from the bus and medical staff confirmed that “it was penetration by this that caused massive damage to her genitals, uterus and intestines”.

In the 33-page charge sheet, the Delhi Police described the juvenile as the most brutal of the six accused. The accused was declared as 17 years and six months old on the day of the crime by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), which relied on his birth certificate and school documents. The JJB rejected a police request for a bone ossification (age determination) test for a positive documentation of his age. On 28 January 2013, the JJB determined that the juvenile would not be tried as an adult. A petition moved by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking the prosecution of the minor as an adult because of the extremely violent nature of his alleged crime was rejected by the JJB. The minor was tried separately in a juvenile court. A verdict in the case was scheduled to be announced on 25 July, but was deferred until 5 August and then deferred again to 19 August On 31 August, the juvenile was convicted of rape and murder under the Juvenile Justice Act and given the maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment in a reform facility, inclusive of the eight months he spent in remand during the trial.

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This gives me chills down my spine; does the juvenile not deserve to be treated as an adult would be in this situation? He was considered to be the one who committed the crime most brutally amongst all the others involved, yet he was given only three years of imprisonment. What I’m trying to imply here is that countries should treat juveniles in conflict with law just as equally. Kids just can’t just get away with such crimes this easily. This is my opinion and it may surely differ from many others. Does anyone ever think how much it mentally, socially, physiologically, psychologically affect the victim? She is left downtrodden, depressed! Especially in a country like India where this is already so much of social stigma for women, It’s a task to survive having been raped and assaulted, I’ll provide with excerpts from another such case too;

The 2013 Mumbai gang rape, also known as the Shakti Mills gang rape, refers to the incident in which a 22-year-old photojournalist, who was interning with an English-language magazine in Mumbai, was gang-raped by five persons, including a juvenile, when she had gone to the deserted Shakti Mills compound, near Mahalaxmi in South Mumbai, with a male colleague on an assignment on 22 August 2013. The accused had tied up the victim’s colleague with belts and raped her. The accused took photos of the victim during the sexual assault, and threatened to release them to social networks if she reported the rape. Later a call centre employee reported that she too had been gang raped, on 31 July 2013.On 20 March 2014, a Mumbai sessions court convicted all five adult accused in both cases on 13 counts. On 4 April 2014, the court awarded the death penalty to the three repeat offenders in the photojournalist rape case. The other two convicts were awarded life imprisonment. Two minors, one in each case, are currently being tried by the Juvenile Justice Board separately. If convicted, the maximum punishment they can face under Indian law is three years imprisonment, which includes time in custody.

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Please note that they were repeat offenders. Especially the minors, what is about to happen out here day in, day out at least one case of rape. Is it considered that light an offence? That every forth girl in states of our country is being raped? Girls are considered to be the form of Goddess Laxmi in Indian culture. Juveniles who commit such heinous crimes are to be treated equally as adults. India is taking into consideration the above fact and very soon such laws are to be implemented, and I can proudly announce that, soon. Countries who treat juveniles equally surely win my respect. The media is prohibited from disclosing the name, picture, address, school or any other particulars which may lead to identification of the juvenile. However, if such disclosure is in interest of the juvenile, the authority holding the inquiry may permit so for genuine reasons. This is in consonance with the right to fair and just trial of the child.

 Having said this, let’s just hope for betterment of all.

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