Kayamkulam- Heaven for Drug mafia.
A woman alone taken up a fight against the drug mafia at Kayamkulam, Pullikanakku village in Alappuzha district and paid the value for it in the process.
Ever since Preetha, a thirty six year-old small vegetable shop owner from Kayamkulam began a protest against the drug trade rampant at her village, people who detected of her attempts discouraged her from obtaining concerned in the murky world of the drug mafia that targeted school kids.
“I could not stand what was happening particularly once it concerned school kids”, she said. She initial began noticing a recurrent practice where she would realize some students outside the school field talking to some strangers often during class time.
“Sitting at the shop I noticed some students roaming outside the school wall and meeting some strangers and that I was suspicious and informed the police,” she said recounting the story.
Even though the drug mafia is well established in Pullikanakku and Kayamkulam, not enough stringent action has been taken on side of the authorities.
Several natives even believed that authorities were considerably aware of the dealings of those gangs with school students. “Everyone here knows about the drug dealings.
Several knew about the gangs behind it, however, no one dared to talk out” says Jayakrishnan, a native from Kayamkulam.
He also pointed out that Preetha was the primary one who raised her voice against the drug trade conducted openly.
Her complaint didn’t have much of impact as a police inquiry had no effect on the drug vending through school students.
Meantime two students were arrested from the school associated with the drug case, following which some of the natives under the leadership of Preetha formed a 45 member committee to act against the practice.
“I couldn’t sit idle seeing all these crimes, that too the involvement of children was more painful. Thus I made a decision to act.
We formed a 45 member cluster to gather details and act against it” she said. When Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala visited their village for a party camp, Preetha gave a complaint letter to him with clear shreds of evidence of drug vending and selling within the school and close locations.
“To an extent, the direct request to the Minister was effective that police was additional vigilant and active. Strict actions were taken by the police” she says.
However, the complaint came back to haunt Preetha, once a few weeks later some men allegedly burnt her shops – her only source to make bread and butter.
Though a close-by bank’s CCTV cameras captured the incident, the faces of the men were not clear.
“It was on February 1, a Sunday, the shop was closed. When I came running it had been completely burnt, no one helped me to put off the fire, I personally did that” she painfully said.
Preetha who lost her parents in her childhood has been struggling to make both ends meet. Earlier, her laundry business declined and had caused her huge debts, however, she expressed her will power to withstand all the setbacks.
“I don’t know the way I will move forward; I already had debts in line to set the shops. Currently, to renovate, I took a loan. However, I’ll not divert from my fight against the drug mafia.”
Along with renovation works of the shop, her concentration on targeting the drug mafia has not wavered. She continues to send regular complaint letters against the practice to the concerned authorities.
Photo credit: News Plus Usa