Monday, November 29th, 2021 20:30:40

Should Pakistan’s NCB investigate Bollywood?

By RSN SINGH
Updated: November 24, 2021 9:30 am

In the third week of July 2021, violent clashes, rather a sort of internal war was witnessed between Mizoram and Assam astride the NH-306, which connects the two states. The clash involved the police forces of the two states as well as the personnel deployed by the Central Armed Police Forces like the CRPF. The ostensible reason being adduced to the clash is a long standing border dispute, but in reality it has more to do with the narcotics trade against which the Chief Minister of Assam has declared unremitting war. Mizoram is a part of Bangladesh-Myanmar drug route. It is believed that the drug mafia had engineered the clash between the two states to divert attention.

 India in terms of drug induced terrorism is buffeted by the Golden Triangle in the East and Golden Crescent in the West. In the East, this narcotic trade rides over Maoism and the Church, and in the West, it rides over Pak sponsored jihad. Mumbai, with its bollywood is an important consumption, destination, distribution, transit and control network of narcotics that flows from Afghanistan.

Golden Triangle

On 13th November, an Army Colonel Viplav Tripathi, his wife Anuja Tripathi and six year old son Abir became victims of an ambush in Churachandpur area of Manipur. The terrorist organization PLA claimed responsibility for the attack, which also had consumed four other Assam Rifles personnel travelling in the convoy. The PLA is driven by the Maoist ideology and subsists on Chinese support and narcotics trade.

There are two dozen such organizations active in Manipur, mostly Maoist in their orientation. The PLA in Manipur has bases on the Indo-Myanmar border, as well as in Mandlay and Ruli in Myanmar and China respectively. Basically, these organizations are proxy terrorist outfits nurtured and sustained by China. These organizations have deep links with the Maoists in the hinterland.

The unprecedented incident is being ascribed as revenge killing, because the Colonel was part of massive anti-narcotics drive ‘Ruihhlo Do’ in Mizoram, where he was earlier stationed, with his battalion. Narcotics trade provides easy money to these groups and is critical for their financial survival.

In the third week of July 2021, violent clashes, rather a sort of internal war was witnessed between Mizoram and Assam astride the NH-306, which connects the two states. The clash involved the police forces of the two states as well as the personnel deployed by the Central Armed Police Forces like the CRPF. The ostensible reason being adduced to the clash is a long standing border dispute, but in reality it has more to do with the narcotics trade against which the Chief Minister of Assam has declared unremitting war. Mizoram is a part of Bangladesh-Myanmar drug route. It is believed that the drug mafia had engineered the clash between the two states to divert attention.

In June 2021, the Assam police in Dimapur managed to apprehend a key figure in the narcotics trade in the region by the name of Queen Paone. Her apprehension was through a decoy customer. Drugs worth seven crores were seized from her. Nearly 60 percent of the drug trade through this region was controlled by this lady. Assam police has arrested more than 2500 such drug lords. As per one estimate, for every lac of deaths in Manipur and Mizoram, an average 30 are attributed to AIDS related mortality because of drug abuse. The number of drug abusers can be extrapolated from these AIDS related mortalities.

The ‘Golden Triangle’ comprising the tri-junction region between Myanmar, Laos and Thailand is the main source of narcotics supply.

 

Indigenous Sources

On 15 November 2021, the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) seized 1,127 kgs ganja in Nanded in Maharashtra. The consignment had originated from the Maoist stronghold areas in Telangana, and supposedly was to be monetized for funding of the Maoists in both Telangana and Gadchiroli region. The area under opium cultivation has been increasing in the Maoist controlled areas. On a visit to Jharkhand, the locals in Daltonganj area apprised this author about opium cultivation by the Church as well, to finance conversion and Maoists.

 

Golden Crescent

There was a massive seizure of narcotics worth Rs.21,000 crores by the NCB in the Mundra Port in Gujarat in first week of October 2021. This was concomitant with the arrest of Aryan Khan, son of actor Shahrukh Khan on drug related charges by the NCB.

Apparently, these two incidents may not be linked, but viewed under the shadow of nexus between Narco trade, terrorism and bollywood, the connect cannot be ruled out. It is matter of fact that ever since Taliban became a strong factor in Afghanistan, the drug seizure in India emanating from that region correspondingly increased. In 2019, it was 3.8 tonnes, which increased to 3.9 tones in 2020, and to 6.0 tonnes this year when Taliban has taken over the country. This magnitude of drugs is enough to turn entire Mumbai population to drug-addicts. Mumbai is known as the Cocaine capital of the world.  The bollywood has particular preference for this drug. This particular drug lubricates terrorism, bollywood and the politics.

The Golden Crescent, Af-Pak region produces 83 percent of the opium, which is peddled by Pakistan and through aegis of Pakistani State. In Afghanistan, the cost of a Kg of Heroin is Rs.10,000, which in Mumbai rises to Rs.50 lacs, and in New York fetches Rs.one crore. A major portion of this whole network is controlled by Dawood Ibrahim under the patronage of Pakistan’s ISI. This narcotic trade is through Karachi or Iran. The consignment seized in Mundra Port had originated in Kandhar and travelled through Iran to Mundra.

It would not be wrong to say that Afghanistan has become a Narco State. The ISI and Dawood nexus have a vested interest in keeping Afghanistan revenue starved, in order to garner windfall profits through the drug-trade. It may be recalled that Nawaz Sharif had revealed that in 1990 the then Army Chief Mirza Aslam Beg and ISI Chief Asad Durrani had approached him with the proposal of raising money through narcotics trade to finance covert operations against India.

Bollywood, Drugs and Third Front

In reference to bollywood, the question is not about the individual addicts and individual dependence on drugs. The concern is about the larger nexus between the drug cartels, underworld, the jihadi terror groups, and politics. This nexus is largely shaping the contours of the ‘third front’. It is this nexus that is responsible for the zombie type behaviour of a cabinet minister of Maharastra. It is this Dawood, drug, Pak ISI nexus that many allege, has been instrumental in installation of the state government through a coalition that voters could not conjure in their most evil and scary dreams.

 

How it all began!

The bollywood nexus with the underworld has been from the days of Hazi Mastan. In the biopic on Sanjay Dutt, there is a scene, wherein Sunil Dutt goes all the way to meet and seek permission from the notorious smuggler, Hazi Mastan, for marriage with Nargis Dutt. The permission was granted only when Sunil Dutt convinced Hazi Mastan that Nargis Dutt, a Muslim, will be given full protection and care. This scene had ringing jihadi overtones. Those days, it was gold smuggling that financed bollywood in a major way.

The current phase of bollywood, drugs and jihadi nexus began in 1993. Earlier, it was Scotch Whisky and to a lesser extent weed that kept the bollywood running and flowing. It all changed after the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai, in which more than 250 people lost their lives. Consequent to these blasts, Dawood Ibrahim relocated himself in Karachi and the Pakistan military-intelligence establishment accepted him with alacrity. In fact, a famous cricketer of Pakistan Javed Miandad gave his son in marriage to Dawood Ibrahim’s daughter. This event has been a historical landmark in jihadization of cricket. Once Dawood Ibrahim left India, his narcotics empire was handled by one Vicky Goswamy. He began with the supply of marijuana to the bollywood and later graduated to ‘mandrax’, and then to even higher variety. He later married bollywood actress Mamta Kulkarni and eventually relocated himself in Kenya from where he controls the drug cartels.

The threat is not individual consumption but of bollywood characters willingly or unwittingly becoming part of the network. Many of them under stressful economic circumstances become peddlers. This network finally leads to Pakistan’s ISI, which is euphemistically known for ‘manufacture of cocktail of Narcotics and Terror’. It is the same network that perpetrated 26/11 on India. The son of a well-known film producer and director was involved in facilitating this attack, but got away because of a collusive dispensation in Delhi at that time.

Narcotics and underworld majorly lubricates the film industry. Some the characters like Mandakini, Mamta Mulkarni and Monica Bedi struck conjugal relationships with some of the kingpins. Others were ready to perform on one beck and call of Dawood Ibrahim in his entertainment shows in Dubai. One of these dubious bollywood characters went on to become a member of parliament. The same nexus ensures that bollywood films are bereft of bhajans, a conspicuous development since 1993.

This is the network that killed Gulshan Kumar of the music industry in the bollywood.  This is the network, which specially finances films that denigrate Hindus and Dharma. This is the network which finances movies like ‘My name is ………. not a terrorist’. A member of this network, whose worthy son is in the docks for drug related issues, was subjected to the most exhaustive and humiliating check at an American airport.

This same network today is financing most of the films in the bollywood. This is an easy way to turn narcotics money into white. Soon after the release of such films huge figures regarding box-office earnings are declared almost on a daily basis. In reality, the theatres remain empty, but all the tickets are sold out. Most of the tickets are purchased by the said network and this is how the narcotics network and bollywood are working in tandem.

 

Bollywood is making Mumbai vulnerable

It was in the defence this network that bollywood celebrities came in defence of Aryan Khan. Once he got conditional bail, he was treated a ‘war hero’ by the bollywood and the media. This cash-rich drugs – bollywood – terror – politics syndicate ensured that the media and other institutions went on an overdrive to project the culprits as angels. Such kind of overdrive was seen during the days leading to the handing of Yaqub Memon.

It may be argued that it is the duty of a lawyer to represent and protect his client, whether he is convinced about the case or not. Morality versus duty may have different imperatives and different interpretations, but it is certainly immoral for an ex-solicitor general to argue his case in a television debate on a case that threatens the security and fabric of this country.

Mumbai by its very geopolitical location is a vulnerable city. It is in a way the financial and maritime capital of India, that is why it was chosen as a target for 26/11. The bollywood and such lawyers are contributing to this vulnerability by enriching their pockets through this narco-terror-bollywood nexus.

 

Conclusion

Sushant Singh Rajput, a boy from Patna came to bollywood. No sooner he tasted some success, the drug mafia in the bollywood consumed him. It was his death that has unraveled the dimensions of the narcotics network in the bollywood. It is unraveling everyday. The agencies and institutions to fight this bollywood – narcotics – terror network are the NCB and the NIA. Is it anybody’s case that the NCB of Pakistan should investigate the bollywood?

By RSN SINGH

(The writer is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW)

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