Criminals do drugs before crime

Sedative-hypnotic drugs are turning out to be a latest craze among city criminals. It came to light following the arrest of a 22-year-old man wanted in 36 cases, including murders and attempts to murder, police said on Thursday.

According to Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime and Railways) Ravindra Yadav, Nazbul Hassan and his associates used to take Nitrazepam before committing a crime. “On sustained interrogation, Nazbul disclosed that he feels ferocious after taking the drug and commits crime fearlessly,” Yadav added.

Nitrazepam is used in the treatment of moderate to severe insomnia which has sedative and motor impairing properties, as well as anxiolytic, amnestic, anticonvulsant, and skeletal muscle relaxant properties.

Health experts say that as with other sedative-hypnotic drugs, tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal can occur, and there is a potential for drug abuse and overdose. “They are also associated with an increased risk of road traffic accidents,” a doctor said.

Nazbul, an active ‘bad character’ in the area falling under Jafrabad police station, was arrested in Shastri Park on Tuesday with a sophisticated .32 bore pistol and 25 cartridges.

He was wanted in seven cases of murder, attempts to murder and other street crimes in Welcome, Jafrabad and Khajuri Khas.

“Nazbul had created a sensation in east and north-east districts by committing more than 36 gunpoint and gun-shot snatchings and robberies in past  three months,” Yadav said.

The gang used to commit crime on stolen motorcycles, which were abandoned after committing four-five crimes to give the police a slip. The gang members used to target mainly women while they are out on a morning walk or on their way to pick kids from school in the afternoon or walking out of Metro stations in the evening.

On Tuesday, a trap was laid in Shastri Park at the instance of an informer. Nazbul was spotted at around 5.30 pm and asked to surrender but he started running in the opposite direction amidst heavy traffic.

After a dramatic chase, he was led wayward from heavy traffic towards the service lane. Unable to flee in any direction, Nazbul whipped out a pistol and pointed towards the police team.

He threatened to fire and asked police to give him a clear passage and tried to flee by climbing a wall near the service lane. However, the police team overpowered Nazbul and snatched his pistol. “The pistol was loaded with seven rounds and during personal search, 18 more cartridges were recovered from his possession,” Yadav added.

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