Kochi’s Udaya Colony turning into den of drug racketeers

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Apart from peddling and consuming the drugs, goons in the area are also actively involved in extortion.

KOCHI:  Life is becoming dangerous for the residents of Udaya Colony where drug dealers and addicts rule the roost. The fear of the drug addicts-turned-goons is so much that the residents even refrain from coming out in the open and lodging a police complaint. Anyone mustering courage to approach the police is sure to face the music.

Residents say the problem has aggravated since the lockdown. “Covid has become a boon for these anti-social elements. It has placed limitations on the police when it comes to putting the offenders behind bars. So all that the cops do is to catch the thugs and let them off after giving a warning or registering a case,” said a resident, who did not wish to be named.

There are mainly two gangs comprising a few young colony residents and outsiders, aged between 18 and 25 years.  According to another resident Ramakrishnan (name changed), the police have barely acted on the complaints he had filed with the Kadavanthra police. Once the complaint is filed, the cops do a drive-by for two days. The drive-bys have more or less become a mockery, for the youths flee once they get info about the cops’ arrival,” said Ramakrishnan, who is also a social worker.

The colony also witnesses fights between rival gangs. According to Ramakrishnan, the families fear to send their kids out as these goons loiter around on the streets. “The problem would become aggravate once the schools and colleges reopen,” he said.

Apart from peddling and consuming the drugs, the goons are also actively involved in extortion. They roam around on the road in front of the colony that leads to the back entrance of the Ernakulam Junction Railway station to threaten rail passengers. Auto drivers too are reluctant to take the road fearing the thugs. Sadly, no one makes any complaint fearing for their lives, said Gopal (name changed), another resident.

The peddlers of Udaya Colony are mainly into methamphetamine and heroin business. One resident who was bold enough to file a police complaint had to bear the brunt of the goons’ ire. “The youths blackmailed me that if I don’t stop my activities, they would target my teenage son. Besides, the hooligans also flung blood-stained syringes on the roof of my house. I have filed another complaint along with the photographs of the syringes on the roof. This time I have mentioned the names of the persons involved,” he said.

Goons active in extortion
Apart from peddling and consumingthe drugs, the goons are also actively involved in extortion.

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