Bhubaneswar: Ganja and brown sugar trade has been on the rise in the State despite crackdown. This was evident from seizure of record quantity of ganja and brown sugar till October this year.

Following a review meeting in Bhubaneswar, Odisha DGP RP Sharma stated that maximum quantity of ganja has been seized from Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Koraput districts. Trafficking of the contraband items has been flourishing in Maoist-affected Malkangiri while there has been a decline in illicit cultivation of cannabis in western Odisha districts of Angul, Sambalpur and Deogarh, he added.

“We are adopting a two-pronged approach to curb ganja trade. One is large scale destruction and secondly beefing up anti-trafficking efforts. According to reports, large scale cultivation of ganja is going on in Malkangiri district especially in cut off areas,” the DGP added.

As per reports, in 2018 till now, 673 quintals of ganja have been seized against an annual seizure of 304.3 quintals in 2017, 428.84 quintals in 2016 and 198.12 quintals in 2015. Besides, seizure of brown sugar in the state in 2018 has also increased compared to the previous years. A total of 668 persons were arrested while Rs 12 lakh has been seized this year.

Sources said the review meeting has prepared a detailed roadmap to tackle the illegal trafficking of the contraband items. Besides, the DGP has directed the SPs to take action under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

“A policy decision has been taken to lodge criminal cases against habitual offenders under the NDPS Act. All the concerned departments including Forest, Excise and Revenue will work collectively to curb this social menace,” said Santosh Upadhyay, ADG, Crime Branch.

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