Police-ganja smuggler nexus under Odisha Crime Branch scanner

Sonepur: A Crime Branch inquiry is now underway into allegations of a nexus between Sonepur police and ganja smugglers.

The accused in the dock is Srikant Tripathy, the inspector-in-charge of Town Police Station and the then officer of Tarabha Police Station.

The nexus was exposed after it came to light that in 90 percent cases registered under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act by Tarabha police, one Ujir Khan was made a regular witness.

An RTI query revealed that 48 NDPS cases were registered by Tarabha police from 2014 to 2017 during Tripathy’s term.

However, Ujir Khan and some of his associates were arrested on the charges of ganja smuggling by Chhattisgarh police in April this year.

RTI activist Srikumar Mahant had subsequently lodged a complaint with senior officials of Odisha police alleging nexus of police officials with drugs peddlers.

“I had contacted Mahasamud SP and had sent all evidence through email and also reported the matter to DIG. As one of the police witness has been arrested in ganja smuggling, it clearly implies that there is some involvement of the concerned police official,” said Mahant.

Though the Human Rights Commission had directed officials to take necessary action against those found guilty within eight days, the department is yet to act, informed sources.

When contacted Tripathy refused to comment on the allegations brought against him. Similarly, Sonepur SP too kept mum on the alibi that a Crime Branch inquiry is on in the matter.