Rashmi Ranjan

A joint team of Odisha Excise Department officials and police unearthed illegal opium plantation worth around Rs 70 lakh at Gopalpur area under Rairakhol police station in Sambalpur district on Sunday and detained three persons in connection with the case.

According to sources, this is the first time when the residents have opted to cultivate opium in the area under the influence negibhouding residents of Jharkhand.

The joint team has also seized around 10000 plants cultivated on a 40-decimal land. The cost of the plants will be around Rs 60 lakh to 70 lakh, informed Excise Superintendent Ashok Seth.

“Acting on a tip-off about illegal opium cultivation, we along with local police carried out raids in Gopalpur area under Naktideula block. We have detained three persons who were present at the cultivation site,” Seth said.

“The opium cultivation was done on a 40-decimal land and we have seized around 8000-10000 plants. Besides, processed opium was also seized from the spot,” Seth added.

(Reported by Sanjay Kumar Jena, OTV)