Rising ganja, brown sugar hauls in Odisha point to a thriving market

It seems that Odisha has become a safe haven for the ganja and brown sugar mafias as the state is witnessing the seizure of such NDPS material almost every second day.

According to data shared by the Odisha directorate of excise, officials have conducted several raids and seized ganja and brown sugar worth Rs 83 crore from April to August during the current financial year.

There is a growth of 110 per cent in the seizure of NDPS ( Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) till August against the seizure of such substances in the same period of last financial year 2021-22. During April to August 2021, NDPS material worth Rs 39.49 crore was seized.

The seizure of ganja and brown sugar has increased by 132 per cent and 191 per cent, respectively. While 9874 grams of brown sugar were seized this year against 3392 grams last year till August, the state has seized 21,690 kg of ganja till August this year against the seizure of 9,339 kg last year.

The registration of NDPS cases has increased from 243 till August ’21 to 739 till August this year, registering a growth of 204 per cent.

While 295 persons were arrested in these NDPS cases till August of 2021-22, the number of arrests also increased to 865 in such cases till last month this fiscal.

The detection and seizure of NDPS cases increased due to regular monitoring by excise commissioner Ashish Kumar Singh and strong enforcement activities, said an official.

To further strengthen enforcement, vehicles are being provided to each range office, he said.

In the meanwhile, taking a cue from the Uttar Pradesh police, the Odisha police has started demolishing the illegal structures/homes of the drug mafiosi.

The twin city commissionerate police on Saturday demolished the house of Ranju Nayak, a drug trader and an accused in a murder case.

“We have launched an operation White Spider to check the drug menace in the capital city. Under the operation, almost every day we are seizing drugs and making arrests,” said Manas Ranjan Garnaik, ACP (zone 1), Bhubaneswar.

As drug trader Ranju had constructed the house illegally and used it in the drug trade, the house was demolished, he said.

Earlier, the police had bulldozed the grocery shop of a man who was peddling brown sugar in the Nayapalli area of Bhubaneswar.

Besides, the police also seized the entire property of drug mafias. Following the request of the Odisha police, the competent authority under the NDPS Act has confiscated property worth Rs 6 crore, including gold jewellery worth Rs 4.5 crore, of notorious drug don Rajanikant Patnaik from Khallikote in Odisha’s Ganjam district.

In another instance, the court has ordered the forfeiture of properties worth over Rs 3 crore owned by two ganja smugglers in the same district.

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