CHENNAI: As ganja seizures in Chennai are hitting a new high with nearly 48 5kg being confiscated in just over a month (December 17 to January 27), police officials want a dedicated unit to put an end to the growing drug menace. While 17.5 kg and 49.5 kg of the contraband was seized in the last two weeks of December, 101 kg, 166 kg and 150 kg of ganja was confiscated in the first three weeks of January, respectively.
In first week of February, the police have seized 112kg of ganja and arrested three people who allegedly brought the contraband from Andhra Pradesh. According to police sources, had the consignment reached its destination, it would have been divided into smaller parts and sent to various parts of the city or even across the State.
"Each case is different, but the place of origin in most of the cases is Andhra Pradesh. From there, it crosses border and enters Tamil Nadu. It then takes different routes to different destinations," a police officer said. Individuals or people operating in groups smuggle in the contraband in two-wheelers or four-wheelers. Sometimes, group posing as families on vacation try to hide it in their luggage.
According to a senior police officer, mostly only pushers in the first level of the chain get caught, and kingpins manage to escape. Business goes on without any hindrance as these small fries are easy to replace."One of the problems is that when we are start working on a ganja case, we may get other duties, a murder case or a VIP visit, and our priority changes," he said.
To avoid this problem, every ganja case could be transferred to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) or a dedicated State department, like the Prohibition and Excise department for liquor cases, must be formed to pursue these cases to their logical end.
A 26-year-old engineering graduate says it would be difficult to completely stop ganja peddling due to its huge demand. "I have completely quit smoking now. I started it due to peer pressure and then it became a habit, it was kind of a stress-reliever. I still know people who use it in parties," he said.
Targeting schools and colleges through awareness programs can help make people understand the ill-effects of drug abuse, police officials said.
What happened in recent months
While 17.5 kg and 49.5 kg of the contraband was seized in the last two weeks of December, 101 kg, 166 kg and 150 kg of ganja was confiscated in the first three weeks of January. In the first week of February itself, the police have seized 112 kg of ganja