Bhubaneswar: Cultivation of cannabis in several hilly areas of the State is proliferating every passing year. The rise can be attributed to demand for the weed among inter-state drug traffickers and the money it fetches. Seizure of over 2 quintals of the contraband worth `15 lakh from different parts on the city has led to fears of the narcotic gaining popularity among the youth and more and more getting addicted to it.
On Wednesday, Khandagiri police and Quick Action Team (QAT) personnel intercepted a sedan near Bharatpur and recovered nearly 1.5 quintal of cannabis stashed in gunny sacks. Police nabbed the driver, who has been identified as Surjyakant Mansingh of Begunia, while the mastermind Dilip Patnaik, managed to escape.
“We have seized the four-wheeler and launched a search operation to nab Patnaik. A case has been registered and Mansingh was produced in a court on Wednesday,” Khandagiri police station IIC said. In another seizure, a patrolling team of Khandagiri police intercepted a man in Baramunda area and recovered a gunny bag containing cannabis. He has been identified as SK Ishak of Keranga village in Khurda district.
“We recovered one quintal cannabis from Ishak. A case has been registered and he was produced in a court on Wednesday,” Khandagiri police said. Mansingh had procured the cannabis from Kandhamal and Ishak had procured the contraband from Angul.Police said the demand for marijuana-filled cigarettes among the youth has increased with easy availability of the drug which is sold under the guise of other businesses.