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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Bilkis and her husband Afzal, a suspected CPM associate, arrested for possession of 2 kg MDMA and other drugs: Kannur, Kerala

Kannur police recently arrested Bilkis and her husband Afzal for possession of around 2 kg of MDMA, seven grams of heroin, and an equal quantity of opium. Bilkis has a history of drug running and the police department had prior information about the movement of drugs after someone tipped them off. 

Reports suggest that Afzal is a former Popular Front of India (PFI) member but is now associated with the ruling communist party of India (Marxist) (CPM). Photos also emerged of him meeting CPM Ex MLA P Jayarajan, and of him participating in local CPM programs.  

Afzal and other local CPM members. Afzal shaking hands with P Jayarajan Ex CPM MLA (Source: social media)

The drug-dealing couple is based out of Muzhappilangad, near the famous sandy beaches of Dharmadam, almost equidistant from both Kannur town and Thalassery. The Taliban is a known supplier of these highly addictive drugs in Kerala and even milligrams are known to hook our youngsters on to a suicidal path. The 2 kg seized makes it one of the biggest hauls of MDMA from the district.   

Bilkis moved the drugs from Bengaluru via a private bus and went to the travel agency to collect them. She was apprehended by the police and her husband arrived soon after. Kannur city commissioner of police R Elango said that his officers caught them from the parcel office near South Bazar in Kannur city.

After the MDMA was seized, police questioned the bus drivers but found no evidence to link them to the drugs. They told the police that whoever booked the parcels for Bilkis from Bengaluru told them that they were clothing materials. Private buses do run from Bengaluru to Kerala and they carry both passengers and goods. These drugs were hidden inside churidar cut-pieces. 

Elango said that Afzal and Balkis used WhatsApp to keep in touch with drug users. Media reports suggested that the couple had a habit of dropping off small quantities at specific places and then informing their addicts about the same. It is not known whether electronic transfers happened but it seems their clients would then come and collect the drugs. 

Political History of Kannur

Dharmadam is chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s fiefdom and Thalassery is famous for Kodiyeri Balakrishnan who was re-elected as CPI(M) state secretary in Kerala on the 4th of this month. Incidentally, another turf war, a few years ago, had ended in Kodiyeri’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri ending up in jail for a considerable amount of time. 

Recently, P.A. Mohammed Riyas, CM Vijayan’s son-in-law since 2020 was elevated to the 17-member State Secretariat of the CPM. Along with Kodiyeri’s re-entry, Riyas’s elevation and induction took place at Kochi as part of the ongoing 23rd CPI-M conference on Friday. Though Riyas and left-leaning green communists hailed him as a great leader, things on the ground do not look smooth. 

AN Shamseer, the current MLA from Thalassery who heads the CPM’s dirty tricks department does not seem happy. He was denied a ministerial berth even though it was his second induction into the Kerala assembly (Riyas is a first-timer). Other than marrying Vijayan’s only daughter, political observers believe Riyas lacks both managerial and administrative skills. 

Riyas is the public works department minister and his arrogance when it came to meeting his own government contractors, did not help things. That the CPM sided with the minister rather than with their own MLAs made things even worse. Shamseer has openly sparred with Riyas in the recent past and the Balkis/ Ahmed arrest seems to be the aftermath. 

Bineesh was arrogant enough to digitally finance his drug-running friends in Bengaluru. There were even allegations back then that these rivalries had ended in someone informing the customs about the gold smuggling scandal that hit Kerala. What came to be known as the Swapna Suresh gold smuggling saga has suspects that include several ministers, bureaucrats, foreign nationals, the former assembly speaker of Kerala, and even Vijayan himself.  

Narcotic Jihad In Kerala

That the state of Kerala has fallen prey to drugs and booze has been reported many times over the last few years. The situation is so bad that now it is exporting narcotic drugs to foreign countries. What the media affectionately calls ‘cooking’ is nothing but adultering the drugs with additives and in some cases increasing their potency. 

Islamists are now drawing Hindu and Christian ladies into drug abuse and into the drug trade. Unknown agents in Afghanistan are smuggling in huge quantities and they are being stored in cities like Bengaluru and Chennai from where the raw materials reach Kerala. African nationals living in Bharat without even passports are said to be the local agents of the drug suppliers.  

Their agents are spread all across the state, who transport and sell. The local government seems only interested in politics and financial gains. A number of drug seizures especially of MDMA are being recently reported from Kannur. 

It is clear that local police have their own limitations when it comes to inter-state drug running. It would be better if a central agency like the Narcotic Control Bureau looks into this case and the real distributors are jailed.

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