Godmothers of crime: Women drug peddlers call shots in Chandigarh

Police records show there are 46 women who face charges of drug peddling; some of them face multiple cases and have been declared habitual offenders

Bala, 49, a prime suspect behind the death of Hisar resident Deepinder Malik, 23, who died due to drug overdose at Naya Gaon last week, is one among 46 women facing charges of drug peddling in Chandigarh. Some of these 46 women face multiple cases of drug peddling and the police department has declared them habitual offenders.

Kamla, 53, Bimla, 61, Nirmla, alias Nimmo, 40, Bano, 52, Sunita, 42, and Kauni Devi, 45, are among the women peddlers who are facing multiple cases of drug peddling. Kamla, Bimla, Nirmla and Bano are residents of Dadumajra colony, Sector 38. Kauni Devi resides at Janta Colony in Sector 25. While Kamla, Bimla, Bala and Sunita are currently out on bail, other two are cooling their heels behind bars.

Sources said, “Kamla, Bimla and Bala are from one family and belong to a particular denotified community based in Rajasthan. They migrated to Chandigarh around four decades back and were later allotted houses under the category of economic weaker section (EWC) at Dadumajra Colony, Sector 38. Bimla’s son Sonu also faces charges of drug peddling. Bano’s one daughter is on the radar of Chandigarh Police for supplying drugs to addicts. Bala, who earlier lived at Dadumajra Colony in Sector 38, where Kamla and Bimla still reside, has recently shifted to Housing Board Colony in Sector 38.”

A senior police officer said, “Apart from these six women, 40 other arrested women include some addicts. They were arrested for possessing narcotics, including smack, heroin, poppy husk and injections of Buprenorphione and Pheniramine. In September 2016, Neha, 24, a woman from Meerut, was arrested from Sector 35 for running a drug syndicate involving two local men in Chandigarh. She had a rented accommodation in Sector 22 and 15 gm heroin was recovered from her. Later, she got released on regular bail along with two local men, Dishant and Vinay Mankotia, and currently facing trial in the local court. Since then, she has not been found involved in any drug peddling case in Chandigarh.”

Sources said, “These women were never arrested with huge quantity of drugs. They knew the consequences of being arrested with huge quantity of drugs. Only two of them — Bala and Nirmala — were arrested with commercial quantity of drugs in June 2013 and July 2018, respectively. Bala was arrested with 260 gm of smack in 2013 and she was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment in 2015. Nirmala, alias Nimmo, was arrested with 60 gm heroin in July this year and currently lodged at Model Burail Jail. These women have recruited their courier men, who transport drugs from them to customers. There are very less chances when addicts directly go to these women for purchasing the drugs.”

DSP (crime) Pawan Kumar, spokesman of Chandigarh Police, said, “Forty-six women were arrested for drug peddling in Chandigarh in the last three years. A total of 515 people were arrested for drug peddling and possessing drugs in Chandigarh in the last three years. We used to keep tabs on the men and women released on bail, and on those, who have been acquitted under the NDPS Act.”

According to the police records, 157 people, including 17 women, were arrested in 2016, 244 people, including 20 women, were arrested in 2017 and 114 people, including nine women, have been arrested this year so far.

A team of Chandigarh Newsline visited the houses of a few of the women facing multiple cases of drug peddling.

Bimla, 61, a resident of Dadumajra Colony

Bimla, who was released on regular bail in April this year in connection with a case under the NDPS Act registered against her in February 2018, was sitting on a bed surrounded by her maternal and paternal grandchildren. She claimed to be an asthmatic patient and produced her medical documents claiming that she was given the bail on her medical condition. According to the police records, Bimla has been arrested seven times for possessing drugs. The latest FIR against her was registered when she was caught possessing 1.30kg ganja near a pubic toilet at Shahpur Colony, Sector 38, on May 15, 2018. She was released on regular bail on July 11 this year. Bimla said, “Indeed, I was involved in the cases of drug peddling but now I have nothing to do with drugs. I am an asthmatic patient and how can I sell the drugs? I have one son, Sonu, who is an addict.” Police records shows that Sonu has been earlier arrested for possessing injections, including those of Buprenorphione and Pheniramine, in March 2018. He is currently out on bail. Bimla’s house was in dilapidated condition.

Kamla, 53, a resident of Dadumajra Colony

Kamla has been a paralytic patient for last 15 years. A total of nine FIRs were registered against her. She was convicted in four of the FIRs and got acquitted in four others. The trial in one of the FIRs, which was registered against her for possessing 50gm smack in July 2015, is still pending. Currently, residing at her three-room house in Dadumajra Colony in Sector 38, Kamla is not able to walk properly and cannot speak. As Chandigarh Newsline visited her house, she was standing in the kitchen and boiling the milk. Her daughter-in-law, Renu, who accompanied her, said, “My kids and I are the only ones who take care of Kamla these days. My mother-in-law suffered paralysis attack in 2004 and later her condition deteriorated each passing year. She can walk but not properly. The right side of her body does not move.” When asked about her well- being, Kamla responded with the movement of her neck. One of the neighbours said that Kamla has two sons and one of them decided to stay separately from her and shifted to another locality in Dadumajra Colony-38. According to the police records, Kamla was arrested in nine cases of drug peddlign and the highest recovery from her possession was of 1kg smack in 2009. Investigators, familiar to the family background of Kamla, said, “Kamla got paralyzed around 15 years back. But the woman has turned her disease into her advantage and last time when we had raided her house, it was very difficult for us to recover narcotics from her possession. Three women constable had recovered pouches of smack from under her bedsheet in 2014.”

Nirmala, alias Nimmo, 40, a resident of Dadumajra Colony, Sector 38

Nirmala alias Nimmo is currently lodged at Model Burail jail. She is facing nine cases of drug peddling in the Tricity. Recently, she was arrested by Chandigarh Police for possessing 200gm heroin and 15 vials of buprenorphone and pheniramine on July 24 this year near Maloya. Her house is located in the middle of Dadumajra Colony and one has to take many turns to reach her house. Nirmala’s well-designed house is different from other houses constructed in her locality. Although Ashok, one of the sons of Nirmala, allowed us to enter his house, he raised strong objection over the clicking of picture. He said, “My mother is behind bars. The case is in the court. I do visit my mother.” About other women peddlers stationed in Dadumajra colony-38 and other parts of Chandigarh, Ashok said, “It is everywhere.”

Bala, 49, a resident of Housing Board Colony Sector 38

Bala has been absconding since the death of 23-year old Hisar resident Deepinder Malik due to drug overdose at Naya Gaon on August 17. Her house was locked. Earlier, she used to reside in DMC-38 and later shifted in one-room flat situated in Housing Board Colony in Sector 38. According to the police records, Bala has seven cases registered against her and in two of the cases, she has been convicted. The first conviction of two-year jail term against her came in 2012 for possessing 70gm smack. Second conviction of an imprisonment of 10 years came in 2015 for possessing 260gm smack. Bala came out on regular bail from Model Burail Jail on July 16 this year as her appeal against the sentence was accepted in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. After coming out from the jail, she again started selling drugs. According to the Mohali police, investigating the death of Deepinder Malik, Malik and his another friend, Akash, had purchased four pouches of drugs from Bala in Rs 2,000 in Sector 38 on August 17. Bala had earlier been arrested in three cases of thefts and later acquitted in all of these cases.

Kauni Devi, 44, resident of Bhaskar Colony, Sec 25

Kauni Devi was arrested in five cases of drug peddling and the latest FIR against her was registered in February 2016 for possessing 10gm smack. Her husband Madan Lal and three sons have also been arrested for drug peddling. Kauni had been residing in Dadumajra Colony, Sector 38, for six years and later shifted to Bhaskar Colony-25 when her counterparts forced her to change her base.


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