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Odishatv Bureau

Phulbani: A joint team of Kandhamal Police and Excise officials on Sunday destroyed illegal ganja cultivation on acres of lands in different forest areas of Dudduki panchayat under Sadar police limits in Kandhamal district.

The police and excise sleuths were tipped off about illegal cultivation following which a joint team was set up to conduct crackdown in the area. The raiding officials found the hemp was cultivated on around 155 acres of forest land. They destroyed the plants by setting fir in the field.

The cost of the cannabis is worth around Rs 1.55 crore, officials informed.

As many as 50 local labourers and two platoons of police forces were engaged in the exercise. The team was headed by senior excise officials and the inspector-in-charge of Phulbani Sadar police station.

Sources said, the cannabis cultivation is going on rampantly in the hilly areas of Kandhamal and other neighbouring districts due to its increasing popularity among inter-State drug-traffickers.

The destruction of illegal farming is carried out on regular interval by the staff of Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB), Excise department and police.

Last year, Odisha government had barred farmers from cultivation of hemp (cannabis/ganja).

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