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'Chitta' reaching Himachal via Punjab more lethal

Consuming ‘chitta’ regularly for three to four months could result in platelets falling below 10,000, which could prove fatal

'Chitta' reaching Himachal via Punjab more lethal

Picture for representational purpose only.

Tribune News Service

Bhanu P Lohumi

Shimla, April 14

Heroin derivative ‘chitta’ being smuggled into Himachal Pradesh from Punjab is more addictive and fatal than the one sourced from Delhi, a forensic examination of the samples seized by the state police from various locations has found.

Rise in seizures

2017 3.417 KG

2022 14.907 KG

Heroin derivative causes drop in platelets

  • ‘Chitta’ from Punjab can make platelets fall below 10,000, which can prove fatal
  • It’s a mixture of heroin, trimethorphim and megaloblastic
  • The drug reaches Punjab via Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan
  • Drug supplied from Delhi is a combination of heroin, paracetamol and dextromethorphan
  • It reaches India from Myanmar, Laos and Thailand

‘Chitta’ or diacetylmorphine is an adulterated form of heroin and it also comprises other drugs. The samples of ‘chitta’ supplied from Punjab, which were seized in Kangra and Mandi districts, have been found to contain heroin and drugs trimethorphim and megaloblastic. It is said to be highly addictive and can cause a drastic decline in platelets.

Kapil Sharma, Assistant Director (NDPS) at the State Forensic Science Laboratory in Junga (Shimla district), said that consuming ‘chitta’ regularly for three to four months could result in platelets falling below 10,000, which could prove fatal.

On the other hand, the ‘chitta’ sourced from Delhi markets was a combination of heroin, paracetamol and dextromethorphan, which was comparatively less lethal, said Sharma.

A police official said heroin was supplied to India mainly through two routes — ‘Golden crescent’, originating from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan and reaching Punjab; and ‘Golden triangle’, reaching Delhi and other parts from Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. ‘Chitta’ consumption in Himachal, an official said, had increased manifold over the past five years, something evident from the rise in seizures from 3.417 kg in 2017 to 14.907 kg in 2022.

According to a 2020 survey conducted on 1,150 inmates of de-addiction centres in Himachal, the addiction of ‘chitta’ and semi-synthetic opioids (adulterated form of heroin) had surpassed cannabis (charas) and other drugs in the age group of 15 to 30 years. Nasha Nivaran Board convener OP Sharma said from a drug-transit nation in 2003, India had become the final destination for narcotics. “Narco-terrorism is here and Pakistan is ruining India’s socio-economic fabric by pumping in drugs,” he said.

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