Drug abuse: students’ social media groups under police scanner

There was intensified surveillance in city hotels to prevent rave parties on New Year’s eve

An investigation is under way into the discreet operation of a few social media groups enrolling mainly students as members to plan drug parties and connect them with suppliers of hallucinogenic drugs.

The city police came across the operation of a few such WhatsApp groups during recent checks in hotels and resorts in Kozhikode as part of the intensified surveillance against rave parties on New Year’s eve.

“Though the private social media groups are outwardly harmless in nature, there have been constant efforts to promote drug abuse and form separate sub groups for interested members,” a senior police officer, who was part of the surveillance activities, told The Hindu. He said the parents of some students were aware of the presence of such groups, but were helpless to find a solution.

Many students had scheduled such New Year parties in various hotels in the city. However, intensified curbs considering the pandemic situation had forced them to call off such events. The attempts of some groups to host the parties before New Year’s were also prevented following the spot intervention of the police.

The police also found that huge amounts were pooled in for conducting the parties. Some parents had warned the hotel managements against facilitating such events and thanked the police for preventing the conduct of parties.

Officials with the Special Branch said they had forwarded a report to the higher authorities for focused action in the area. They said a State-level probe could be launched and the role of senior students in luring juniors could be examined.

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