Pune: Over 200 people – most of them students – were arrested in a pre-dawn raid on a rave party in Pune on Monday.
Though they have all been granted bail by a Sessions Court and shocked and anxious parents of the guilty have to shell out Rs 30,000 as bail guarantee to take their wards home, the story runs much deeper.
The Pune Police claim they have evidence that drug parties like this particular one are organised using social networking sites like Orkut and isratrance.com.
And that’s not all. The party did not just take place at the chosen venue in Pune, it also rocked on the Internet at the same time.
Isratrance.com's feedback pages are a timeline to the whole story from the invitations to the police bust.
On February 27, an Internet user, who went by the name of psy_demon set the ball rolling by posting an invite to the March 3, Holi party online.
Soon, others using names such as Urban Hippie, doctor exceed, LSD 25 and tripknot, logged on and the online party started.
Users began posting their reviews and pictures and more invitations for other drug dos began to pour in till a user named Indiandawg posted the bad news that the Pune party had been busted by the police and all the invitees arrested.
Then came the shock and the anger and users like Cosmic Tandava, phazed, twistedfunkie and N'euroToxic began cautioning fellow members to be more careful when posting invites online.
The invites, conversations and pictures - which can still be viewed on these websites - corroborate the polices’ theory about parties being organised online.
At the Pune bust, police detained two alleged drug peddlers, and claim to have seized drugs were worth Rs 3 crore. They also say that the party was organised by suspected international drug peddlers and that drugs and money flow openly at such events.
Meanwhile, the parents of those arrested are in a state of shock and denial.
“Our children don't even know what drugs are. Spending one night in jail is punishment enough,” said one of the guardians.
But the reality is sharp and stark. In January, Rs 2 crore worth of heroin was seized in Pune and a month before that, it was 28 gunny bags of ganja.
So for Pune, which for long has been known as a safe city and a pensioners' paradise, this incident comes as a rude shock and is an indication of how intensely the drug net has captured the youth of the city.
But that's not the end of the task, because the anonymity of the Internet for sending invitations and organising rave parties means more trouble for the police.