Berhampur: Locals of remote Khajuripadar village under Badagada Police limits of Ganjam district today opposed the destruction of ganja cultivation near their village by the police and Excise department officials.
Sources said, following a directive from the Ganjam District Collector, a joint team comprising Ganjam DSP, Aska SDPO, Excise officials of Sorada, Forest officials, officials of Aska, Dharakote, Sorada and Badagada police stations reached Khajuripadar village today to destroy illegal ganja cultivation on around 50 acre of government land.
The villagers opposed the move and tried to stop the officials from destroying the marijuana plantations. Instead, they asked the officials to shut the nearby liquor shops before destroying the hemp plantations.
Following stiff opposition from villagers, ganja cultivation in only a few acres could be destroyed during the drive.
“The villagers earn huge profits from illegal ganja cultivation on government land. The cannabis is smuggled to places like Berhampur, Aska, Bargarh and outside the state to Surat and Bihar,” said Additional SP of Excise Department, Abhiram Behera.
On the other hand, Dharakote Tehsildar, Koresh Jani appealed villagers to adopt agriculture for livelihood instead of illegal ganja cultivation.