Ganja valued at over `72 crore has been destroyed during joints raids in Kandhamal district in the last four days.
The raids conducted by Excise, police and Narcotic Control Bureau personnel led to destruction of about 7.23 lakh ganja plants in the district. The average worth of the product in the open market would be around `72.30 crore, said Excise Superintendent of Kandhmal, Siba Shankar Gantayat.
Four raids were conducted in areas under Phiringia, Khajuripada and Gochhapada police limits, Gantayat said, adding 190 officials and 60 labourers were engaged in the operation. He said as many as 11 joint raids were conducted last year wherein 8.30 lakh ganja plants were uprooted and set on fire.
Approximate cost of the contraband destroyed last year was nearly `115 crore.
Excise officials said many tribal villagers of Phiringia, Luisingh, Gochhapada, Balabadi Sasipadar, Burudibali, Sunamudi, Kanibali, Pallaburudi and Rakudi under Phiringia and Gochhapada areas have been found involved in the illegal farming.
“The ganja mafias, who are mostly from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Mumbai get ganja cultivated in huge areas. The local villagers are coerced and cajoled to give up their traditional farming like turmeric, ginger and paddy and forced to opt for ganja plantation,” Santayat said.
The criminals often advance hand loans to the poor and needy villagers and also provide them with high-yield ganja seeds for the cultivation. The raids were conducted as per the decision of the district multi disciplinary coordination committee to identify areas having ganja cultivation, he said. PTI
Rairakhol: As many as 56,250 hemp plants valued at about `5 crore were destroyed in Khetrapur village of Ghusramal gram panchayat on Tuesday.
The plants were cultivated in over 25 acres of Government land. For the first time, mechanised bush cutting implement was put to use by the joint team of Excise, Police, Forest and Narcotic Control Bureau which undertook the exercise. However, no arrest has been made.