Rashmi Rekha Das

Boudh Superintendent of Police (SP) on Friday placed three police personnel under suspension for their alleged connivance in ganja (marijuana) smuggling cases. 

The suspended officers have been identified as Baghiapada outpost officer Sanatan Pradhan and two constables-Sanjeev Pradhan and Keshab Pradhan. 

They have been accused of letting marijuana smugglers go scot-free and keeping the contraband at their quarters.

Police sources revealed that marijuana smugglers used to give kickbacks to these cops to run their businesses smoothly. 

On January 16, Baghiapada outpost in-charge Pradhan had intercepted a youth and seized marijuana weighing 13 kg and a bike from him. Later, the outpost in-charge allegedly released the accused after hatching a deal with him. After letting the accused go scot-free, Pradhan reportedly hid the bike and seized ganja in his quarters. 

After a complaint was lodged in this regard, an inquiry was conducted and the involvement of two constables in the crime was also established. On the basis of the investigation, the SP suspended the trio. 

Apart from these three cops, many police officials are allegedly helping the marijuana smugglers to do business.

Sources said Odisha has seen a spurt in marijuana smuggling. Districts like Ganjam, Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada and Kandhamal produce huge volumes of marijuana. Tribal dwellers of these districts in particular grow the marijuana plants for which they get an advance and an unofficial contract as well. When the harvest is ready, traders send in the mules. 

Reported by Deepak Adar, OTV