VIJAYAWADA: After the launch of Operation Parivarthana on October 30, 2021, the Andhra Pradesh police has wiped more than 90 percent of ganja crop in the agency, area from where ganja is being smuggled in the entire country, said director general of police (DGP) Kasireddy Rajendranath Reddy.
If we take a look at an available data, the number of cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in the last four years (June 2019 to June 2023) has increased more than twice with reporting 6,538 cases against 2,915 cases in the last five years (June 2014 to May 2019)
According to the data, as many as 6,538 NDPS Act cases have been registered in the State from June 2019 to June 2023 against 2,915 cases reported during the period June 2014 to May 2019. In addition, the officials have destroyed 1,029 acres of ganja crop in agency areas in the year 2022 to June 2023. The department has identified 6,655 peddlers across the State and arrested 5,342 persons in connection with the illegal trade so far.
Post the launch of the operation, the state government has also destroyed cannabis plantations in the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) where various departments concerned such as police, special enforcement bureau, revenue, Integrated Tribal Development Authority, forest department and other departments took part in the drive. During the month-long operation in 2021, ganja plantation in around 7,552 acres in the unexplored interior areas in the forest of Visakhapatnam agency was destroyed.
“In the year 2023, till June, a total of 928 ganja cases have been detected, leading to the arrest of offenders from both Andhra Pradesh and other states. The operation has disrupted the supply chain of ganja cultivation and smugglers activities and dealt a blow to the illegal drug trade in the region,” the DGP Rajendranath Reddy added.
Explaining the meticulous process being implemented in turning down the networks, Reddy said the department is observing a wide approach by taking the entire network of menace - smugglers, transporters, peddlers and consumers - into account and busting the rackets.
“We are fishing out all the clues that leads to ganja network. We warned lodge owners in agency areas and other identified locations to inform police on the suspicious persons and other persons visiting their places. Same is the case with transporters. Like never before, we have invoked PD Act against 66 notorious ganja offenders across the State,” DGP Rajendranath Reddy said.
On the other hand, the officers also observed that a significant number of ganja cases detected recently have sources in Odisha. “There is a huge need for an enhanced cooperation and coordination between the authorities of both States to curb this cross-border illegal trade,” a senior official said on anonymity.