OTV Exclusive: Brown Sugar Trade Spreading Tentacles In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: It seems Odisha has turned a new destination for drugs mafia with rampant trade of illegal narcotics like Brown Sugar spreading its tentacles across several districts of the State.

And the chain of network seems to have been starting from Nepal and entering the neighbouring West Bengal through Bangladesh from where it is transported to Odisha. Despite stringent vigil and arrests of the accused, such drug peddlers continue trading the contraband items after release from jail which has become a major challenge for the State police.

An exclusive OTV exclusive report has unearthed how the trade of illegal drugs spread its network in cities like Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khurda, Berhmapur and Bhubaneswar.

As per the findings, youths of Balasore, the starting point of the illegal drugs trade in Odisha, particularly in the outskirts of main railway station area, Arada bazaar, Jaleswar area are reeling under the addiction of the narcotics. Surprisingly, however, it seems the administration has so far been oblivious towards the issue even as the youths of the region continue to fall prey to the menace.

In Khurda district too, especially in the capital Bhubaneswar where the so called “powder” business being operated from several slums has hit youths, mostly students.

The situation is no less severe outside the Smart City, like in suburbs of Khurda and Jatni where police have reportedly been unsuccessful in curbing the drugs business despite action.

Former Excise Commissioner Sudarsan Nayak said, “Bangladesh is a comparatively softer passage for cross border trafficking of drugs to several parts of India including Odisha. The trade of the narcotics is largely being carried out in a huge network operated by cross border terrorist organizations through local agents in various corners to destroy the youth community across the country.”

Nayak said that strict procedures and investigation under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act generally makes it very tough for police and excise departments to take stringent action against the accused.

“If the State Crime Branch, Narcotics Bureau and Excise department coordinate intelligence reports, then the large whole sellers who are propounding the business can be nabbed,” said Nayak adding that a sincere holistic approach needs to be taken at all levels to curb the drug trade.

“We are investigating to see whether the trade has international links. If there is a link, necessary action would be taken accordingly,” said Odisha DGP BK Sharma.

Reportedly, two days ago Odisha police had seized brown sugar worth Rs 40 lakh following raids at different places in Cuttack and Balasore. A day later, police managed to arrest two most-wanted drug peddlers- Sheikh Raja and Prakash Nayak alias Munna.

While police suspect that Sheikh Raja has links with international drug mafia, his family claimed that such reports are false.