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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Kandhamal: A seven-member Special Task Force (STF) team of the Crime Branch was allegedly beaten up and detained by locals during a drug bust at Kakendri Village under Kandhamal Sadar police limit in the district on Wednesday.

According to sources, the Crime Branch sleuths closed in on the village in the wee hours after receiving a tip-off about illegal ganja peddling. They took some villagers for questioning in that connection. However, as the sleuths were in plain cloth, the villagers allegedly failed to realise their identity and beat them up black and blue and detained them for nearly three hours.

Meanwhile, one of the STF team members somehow managed to set himself free and contacted the local police station following which the Kandhamal Sadar police rushed to the spot and rescued the sleuths. They bruised and injured cops were administered treatment at a local hospital and returned to Bhubaneswar in the afternoon.

It is worth mentioning that on November 15, a joint team of the Kandhamal police and Excise department officials had destroyed ganja cultivation on several acres of land in different forest areas in the district.

The police and Excise sleuths had conducted crackdown in Kudutuli, Jampadar, Janagual areas under K Nuagaon police station and destroyed the cultivation on 170 acres of land by setting the hemp plantation on fire. A whopping Rs 4 crore worth ganja had been seized and more than Rs 4.5 crore worth hemp plant cultivation destroyed in November 2020.

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