ANGUL: The lure of rich returns that ganja cultivation ensures has not even spared local cops. So far, three police personnel have been arrested in the district for their alleged involvement in illegal ganja cultivation and smuggling.
Last week, a woman constable Chapala Sahu working with the Energy police station here was arrested for her alleged involvement in ganja trade. She has been placed under suspension.
A police team raided the house of Birabar Sahu, husband of the accused constable Chapala, in Kumursingh village on Saturday. Cops found 110 kg of ganja stored in the house and three four-wheelers parked outside that were allegedly used to procure the contraband.
Police said it was evident that the contraband was procured from an area where ganja was cultivated and stored in the house to be transported later.
Even as Birbara managed to escape before police reached the house, his wife was arrested following the raid. Prior to Chapala, police personnel Sanjat Garnaik and Uday Nath Dehuri had been arrested by police for dealing in ganja trade. Sanjay was an APR constable of Chhendipada and was nabbed by Angul police while trafficking ganja in a four-wheeler. Similarly, Uday, a constable in Rengali police station, was allegedly involved in cultivating ganja in his native village in Chhenipada.
Apparently, all the three are natives of this region which has been witnessing a spurt in ganja cultivation and trade. The illegal business has been going on for ages and as on today, hundreds of acres of land in the district are under ganja cultivation. From here, the contraband is smuggled outside the State and the country as well. Frequent crackdowns on ganja traders and growers, notwithstanding, the menace continues.
SP Narasingh Bhol said concerted efforts are on to bring down the ganja menace. “We are determined to wipe out the menace from the region. We are seeking cooperation of people on the issue. Besides these three constables, an assistant sub-inspector was recently suspended for not acting instantly on ganja traffickers,” he said.