Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In one of the biggest ever crackdown against illegal drug operations in Odisha, the Gajapati police on Monday seized a huge haul of around 21 quintal of ganja worth over Rs 1.5 crore in R Udayagiri and arrested as many as 26 persons including seven women in this connection.

Acting on a tip-off, a special squad led by Gajapati SP raided different places in R Udayagiri and intercepted as many as four pick up vans carrying the contraband. The squad detected around 21 quintal of ganja stashed inside the vehicles. 

“As many as 26 peddlers including seven women and the drivers of the vehicles have been arrested during the raid. All the vehicles used in the transport of the smuggled goods have also been seized,” informed R Udayagiri SDPO Dilip Kumar Nayak.

A case has been registered under sections 20 (b) (ii) (C)/29 NDPS Act, 1985. The arrested persons will be forwarded to a local court soon, the police said.

Sources said the arrested drivers are the residents of Padmapur from Rayagada village while others are from Panjab and Haryana. The accused from outside Odisha were sending the consignments to their respective states after procuring the contraband from different places in R Udayagiri.

Further investigation into the incident is underway.

Earlier in March this year, Umerkote police had seized over seven quintal of ganja from Chandiabeda village in the district and arrested four persons including an employee of Assam Rifle in this connection.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)