Vikash Sharma

You might have come across several Bollywood movies in which gangsters operate their crime syndicate from inside the jails. In real life also, such allegations have been frequently coming to the fore in Odisha. It was evident again after Khordha Town Police arrested six persons including a woman involved in the illegal brown sugar trade.

Moreover, the accused were arrested after a mobile phone was seized from an inmate. Around 266 grams of brown sugar, one SUV, and several mobile phones have been seized from the six accused.

The accused have been identified as Laxmidhar Sahu, SK Zafar, Abhijit Samantray, Tapas Swain, Sasmita Pradhan, and Suraj Dalbehera. Khordha SP Siddharth Kataria informed that the six accused were nabbed after getting a clue from the Jail superintendent and seizure of a mobile phone on Monday.

One of the arrested accused, Laxmidhar Sahu’s brother is currently lodged in the jail and he was operating the racket. He will be brought under remand for further investigation. Apart from this, how the mobile phone entered the jail premises will also be investigated, the SP said.

The senior police official said that Khordha district has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against brown sugar. In 2022, Khordha police registered 37 cases and arrested 84 persons. Similarly, 79 persons were arrested in 2023 in various narcotics trade.

If it is found that the finance and property have been accumulated due to the trade and sale of narcotics, it will be confiscated. Apart from this, linkages, including source of procurement and point of sale will be investigated, the SP added.

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