TIRUCHY: Tuesday's opium haul has taken officials of Organised Crime Intelligence Unit (OCIU) in Tiruchy by surprise as the narcotic drug resurfaced in the central region after almost seven years. Five persons, including the executive member of the OBC wing of BJP's Tamil Nadu unit, were arrested, in Mannarpuram and at least 2 kg of opium was seized. "Unlike ganja, opium use is not common in the central region. The drug has a presence in several States especially North-India. We have intensified probe to identify the source and potential buyers," said an officer in the narcotics wing.
The accused were identified as Adaikalraj (40), the BJP functionary from Perambalur; Athadaiyan (40), a resident of Manchanallur and their compliances Arumuguam, Jayaprakash and Balasubramanian, all residents of Perambalur. They were remanded in the Tiruchy Central Prison on Wednesday.
"The accused purchased the substance from a lorry driver in Perambalur and brought it to Tiruchy to exchange it to a buyer from Madurai. We intercepted the accused before they could to sell it," the officer said.
Two cars, one of them belonging to a Siddha practitioner, used to smuggle the drug were seized. "The seized drug is valued around Rs 5 lakh in the domestic market and could fetch double the amount in countries like Sri Lanka. The drug is in demand in places where there is a concentration of youngsters from to north Indian states," sources said.
BJP functionary expelled from party after arrest
The State unit of the BJP on Wednesday expelled Luvango P Adaikkalaraj, State executive committee member from the OBCs Welfare Wing of the party in Perambalur district since he has brought disrepute to the party by his activities. "Adaikkalaraj has been relieved from all responsibilities of the party including primary membership since he has acted against the principles of the party. As such, party cadre and functionaries should not have any truck with him," said Karu Nagarajan, general secretary. He was appointed as the executive committee member recently by party president L Murugan. Expulsion of Adaikkalaraj followed his arrest on charges of transporting opium in a car on August 11.