Drugs, Lies – Mahajan Saga
Maxwell Pereira

maxpk@vsnl.com

Though Friday, the June 2, 2006 dawned on Delhi like any other day, by breakfast time the channels were breaking the story of Rahul Mahajan’s nightly misadventure. Rahul, the young scion of the bereaved family of late Pramod Mahajan - BJP star whom former Prime Minister Vajpayee literally catapulted to a position of pre-eminence by dubbing him Ramayan’s Laxman.

In the middle of the night that had passed, Rahul and Vivek Moitra – Mahajan Sr.’s former aide, had been moved in an unconscious condition to Apollo Hospital from 7 Safdarjang Road – the official residence of the deceased leader still in the possession of the Mahajan family. By afternoon Moitra was dead, Rahul reportedly critical but stabilised, and the whole nation abuzz with the shocking tale of booze, drugs and trips in high places.

Over the three days that followed, skeletons after skeletons have tumbled out of cupboards hitherto hidden – only whispered about in corridors, as just the ways of those powerful, the impregnable high and mighty.

In the aftermath of the Rahul saga, the first to be arrested – Sahil Zarroo, the Kashmiri drug procurer for that fateful night. Then the Nigerian Abdullah from Vasant Vihar – the main source for the drug, with two other Nigerians detained and some more under interrogation. And lately, Rahul too arrested for drug consumption, even as he is still recuperating in the ICU of Apollo hospital – “on the basis of the ‘totality’ of evidence so far adduced”, as Additional DCP New Delhi District Manish Agarwal put it.

To recapitulate the sequence of events – barely weeks after his father’s death, and statedly while on his way to Assam to immerse the ashes in the Brahmaputra, Rahul Mahajan with aide Vivek Moitra indulges in a binge at the Safdarjung Road bungalow – a champagne party, with three other friends: Sahil Zarroo, Karan Ahuja and Rahul Malhotra.

As disclosed by two house servants who helped investigators piece the story together, Rahul and Vivek regularly had such booze parties even earlier, the plush bathroom mostly being the scene of secret rendezvous then. Often, Rahul would sip his champagne in the Jacuzzi, with Moitra sitting on a chair beside.

By the time the two went to the TV room where the others were present, Rahul appeared in an inebriated state telling Moitra he had thrown up, as he had had too much. It was 10.30p.m. and at this stage, Rahul Malhotra leaves.

Soon, Moitra accuses Sahil of having supplied impotent stuff and asks him to fetch the genuine substance. Sahil leaves with Karan, contacts another friend Trishay Khanna while on the way, then drops Karan and picks up Trishay. They manage to contact Nigerian Abdullah from whom fresh substance is procured.

Back in the house, Moitra, Rahul and Sahil take the substance, and immediately start feeling sick. Sahil leaves with Trishay, goes to Spring Meadows hospital in East of Kailash and gets himself treated. The house servants find Moitra and Rahul lying unconscious and inform Mahajan Sr.’s other aide Harish Sharma. Servants Anil and Shankar assist Sharma to take Rahul and Moitra to hospital.

Both are driven to Apollo – and not the nearby AIIMS or Safdarjung. According to Mahajan Sr.’s close associate and friend Sudanshu Mittal, “who would trust a Government hospital in an emergency!”

While the nation’s premiere medical facility the AIIMS doing post-mortem on Moitra’s body has confirmed death due to an over dose of drug usage, and the CFSL has declared the ‘substance’ to be heroin, the Apollo hospital is on the mat for attempting to hush up the matter by rushing to the media declaring no signs of drugs found in Rahul’s samples tested.

And the BJP is seen distancing itself from the episode by saying it is a family matter. Rahul’s uncle former Maharashtra Dy.CM Gopinath Munde though, has lost no time to scream the conspiracy theory alleging a sinister plot to kill Rahul. And the ever-indulgent Vajpayee deems it necessary to philosophically pontificate in respect of his favourite Laxman’s son, that such things do happen among the young when they fall into wrong company; they will guide him to the right path! One wonders whether this’ll be before or after the imminent jail sentence that’s looming large as a distinct reality for young Rahul.

Police sources unofficially reveal that Rahul Mahajan had a history of drug abuse and that they are trying to ascertain this with concrete evidence. Which brings us once again to the issue of ‘high profile’ cases in which the accused are either persons wielding influence or they are related to persons exercising power. The print media recently documented several such cases in Delhi, Bombay and elsewhere. The view expressed in respect of this ‘brat pack’ was that if your dad’s rich and connected, the law can go jump.

This case is typically symptomatic of the dark side of the rich and powerful and their spoilt brats who party with gay abandon – ever on a high on cocaine, heroin, ecstasy or acid that’s readily available. A reporter of a TV channel penetrated the drug-and-party circle in Delhi to show how easily drugs are accessible in the city. There have been many incidents littered in the recent past of how actors, politicos, businessmen have been caught and then somehow they get back to their nefarious ways. It would be appropriate for judicial activists and our apex court to crusade in this matter to find out why they do not get booked, to make an example of them, to be a deterrent to others whom the supposed long arm of the law has not touched yet!

05.06.2006: Copy Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725 Sec-23, Gurgaon-122002. You can interact with the author at http:// www.maxwellperira.com and maxpk@vsnl.com

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