Hyderabad: The stiff competition between the toddy shop owners in Vikarabad district to attract more tipplers by selling the toddy laced with narcotics is putting the lives of people at risk.
The owners were mixing the toddy with narcotics like marijuana, diazepam and alprazolam in spite of knowing that people would face health problems. More than 150 people became sick and developed withdrawal symptoms in Nawabpet and Vikarabad a few days ago after consuming the toddy mixed with diazepam and alprazolam.
After the toddy incident came to light, officials from police, and prohibition and excise department cracked the whip on the errant toddy shop owners. In November last, a toddy shop owner K Suresh Goud’s attempt to attract more customers by selling toddy laced with powdered marijuana to ensure a better high, boomeranged after the Vikarabad police came to know of it and arrested him under the provisions of NDPS Act.
Suresh Goud came to know that mixing toddy with marijuana would not only enhance the ‘kick’, but also improve the taste. After getting contraband from an acquaintance in Gulbarga of Karnataka, Goud started lacing toddy with marijuana powder in his shop at Malkapur in Tandur mandal.
Initially, the response from tipplers was moderate but as days progressed, Goud’s toddy, which was nicknamed ‘Black Dog’ by ‘fans’, became quite popular. As many tipplers were going to Suresh Goud’s shop, other toddy shop owners grew suspicious and found that Goud was mixing some ‘substance’ with toddy.
They alerted police, who collected samples and confirmed that Suresh Goud was mixing toddy with marijuana. But the incident in Nawabpet and Vikarabad came to light when many people were admitted to various hospitals in Vikarabad and Hyderabad after developing health problems.
Taking a serious note of the incident, the excise department collected samples from 11 shops and sent to its regional chemical lab, which confirmed that the shopkeepers were mixing toddy with diazepam and alprazolam and selling it to customers resulting in withdrawal symptoms.
Irate villagers demanded that the police and excise officials take concrete steps to completely control the sale of narcotics. A constant surveillance must be maintained on toddy shops to prevent such incidents in future.
Arrested nine more shop owners
Hyderabad: The Prohibition and Excise department on Wednesday arrested nine more toddy shop owners for allegedly selling toddy laced with diazepam and alprazolam resulting in health complications among customers. Vikarabad district excise superintendent A Varaprasad said the nine persons were nabbed after booking a case against them under the provisions of NDPS Act.
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