He looks over his shoulder for police and, seeing none, rolls up his right sleeve. Lean, short, and wiry, Gill makes a fist to plump the veins in his forearm and injects himself with an Afghan heroin compound mixed with water drawn from a public fountain, the moonlight guiding his hand. After injecting himself, he cracks the empty vessel in half and tosses it into a nearby field, where other bloody needles lay scattered in the tall grass. The high right now is so strong — it feels like enough to last me 10 or 12 hours. And while Indian statistics are notoriously unreliable, heroin use appears to be growing across the country. The problem is especially bad in Punjab, a relatively wealthy state of 28 million people in northwestern India. Gill, 24, is among the estimated roughly 70 percent of young Punjabi men who man suffer from a substance abuse problem, according to an October study published by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, a think tank.
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The war-torn region has become a major narcotics trafficking route, sparking a new Indian drug epidemic. A hand-painted truck carrying a load of Pakistani almonds pulled over in Uri, a lonely, picturesque mountain town in Kashmir, on the afternoon of Jan. Plus the agents liked the driver. On multiple occasions they had shared a sweet, lightly spiced local tea called kahwa with the man, and they knew about his kids, his wife, and his neighbors on the other side of the line of control in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. Border control is a lonely line of work, especially in an isolated region where it often feels like there are more guns lying around than people to carry them, and the agents considered the driver something like a friend. So when he begged the customs agents to speed up their search because he was running behind on his route, they wanted to accommodate him.
Simran Bagga born Rishibhala Naval ; 4 April , also known by the mononym Simran , is an Indian film actress, producer and television personality. She has predominantly appeared in Tamil , Telugu language films, as well as a few films in Hindi , Malayalam and Kannada. Simran was born in Mumbai and spent most of her childhood there. Although Simran initially aspired to become a fashion designer , she accepted offers to join the Indian film industry, which came as a result of her fame as an anchor in the show Superhit Muqabla , making her Bollywood debut in Sanam Harjai Having acted in a few Hindi films , she later achieved her first success with Tere Mere Sapne alongside Arshad Warsi. Subsequently, she made her debut in South Indian cinema through the Malayalam film Indraprastham in , and starred in her first Kannada film Simhada Mari and Telugu film Abbai Gari Pelli the following year. The same year, she debuted in Tamil through V. In , Simran received critical praise for playing a blind woman in Thulladha Manamum Thullum. However, the turning point of her career came with the success of Vaali , which made Simran the most successful actress in the industry. At the peak of her career she agreed to play the role of an antagonist in Parthen Rasithen and a suffering woman from a premarital agreement in Priyamaanavale , both went on to become commercial and critical successes.