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Curbing ganja trade biggest challenge: SP

Curbing ganja trade biggest challenge: SP
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Controlling ganja trade and harvesting in the remote Agency tracts of Visakhapatnam district has been the biggest challenge for the rural police, said Superintendent of Police Koya Praveen.

Visakhapatnam: Controlling ganja trade and harvesting in the remote Agency tracts of Visakhapatnam district has been the biggest challenge for the rural police, said Superintendent of Police Koya Praveen.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday on the annual performance of the police, the Superintendent of Police said though Maoist-related activities were controlled this year compared to the past five years, the men in uniform were yet to gain courage root out ganja cultivation in the interior Agency villages where the presence of Maoists was feared. “However, we were successful in controlling smuggling and allied activities,” Mr Praveen said. He said a total of 195 cases under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act were registered this year and 507 smugglers, most of them inter-State criminals, were arrested.

The police also seized 23,650 kg of dry ganja, valued at Rs 8.65 crore in the open market. The seizure of ganja rose from 12,178 kg in 2013 to 23,650 kg this year. Yet, preventing cultivation of ganja in interior hamlets like Kilamkota and Busiput areas was still a great challenge for them, he said.

The cannabis cultivation was mainly carried out in the hilly and inaccessible terrains in the Agency area and there was a need for coordination among various departments to destroy the cultivation, the police chief said.

Taking pride in controlling Maoist-related activities in the district, the Superintendent of Police said the number of incidents declined compared to the past five years from 49 offences in 2010 to 14 in 2014, while the number was 20 last year. Three civilians were killed by the Maoists in 2014 and four extortion cases were reported.

A total of 83 Maoists, including nine UG cadre Maoists, were arrested, while 82 surrendered before the police, Mr Praveen added.

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