While hundreds of smugglers based in Tripura are sending spurious Phensedyl, a cough syrup, with an exceedingly high dose of codeine and other drugs to Bangladesh virtually by the truckload, hundreds of acres of remote land in West Tripura have become sprawling ganja plantations.
Phensedyl is extremely popular in Bangladesh where liquor consumption is banned. Taking advantage of the situation, some unscrupulous traders of Tripura are smuggling the cough syrup across the border. And it earns huge money. While one 100 ml bottle of Phensedyl would cost around Rs 100 in India, it would be sold for three times as much in Bangladesh.
“We are well aware of the situation and the police often detain vehicles and seize thousands of bottles of Phensedyl consignments that are not used in Tripura. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The network is very deep-rooted and widespread. The Phensedyl smuggling would, in future, become a major deterrent to better Indo-Bangla relations,” said a government official. The official did not want to be named, but added already at diplomatic levels in Dhaka, serious concern has been raised over the smuggling of cough syrup to their country from India.
“Whenever we visit Bangladesh, intellectuals, writers and cultural activists also raise the same issue in our informal talks,” said Ratul Debbarma, an eminent poet of Tripura.