KOLLAM: On World Environment Day on Saturday when everyone was busy planting saplings to mark the day, a few individuals used the opportunity to plant ganja saplings on the roadside in Kollam. Two cannabis saplings were recovered by the Kollam excise team on Monday from the side of a road at Kandachira. The saplings were planted as part of World Environment Day. The excise team is on the lookout for the youths who were involved.
The saplings measuring 60cm and 30cm in height were found planted along the road between Kurishadi junction in Kandachira and the bypass. A team led by excise special squad sub-inspector T Rajeev found the saplings from the roadside.
An eyewitness tipped the department’s special squad CI I Noushad off on World Environment Day morning that a few individuals came and planted these saplings there, and defended when confronted saying that they loved this plant. The witness also informed the excise squad that a man addicted to ganja had led a group of youngsters to plant cannabis. The men who planted the saplings told local residents that let these plants grow there so that they could take selfies beside them, he said.
A similar tip-off was received by the team regarding the ganja plants seen under the Mangad bypass bridge. But nothing was recovered from the spot when the team reached there for inspection. However, the excise officer said that there were signs that cannabis was grown there earlier. The officer added that they got information that the plants were owned by a resident of Kandachira involved in several ganja cases.
Assistant excise commissioner B Suresh said the team is tracking down the culprits and they will be arrested soon. “It seems certain gangs are trying out new methods as due to lockdown, they are unable to travel to other places to smuggle in the stuff,” he said.