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Tribal students used as drug mules

Tribal students used as drug mules
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Smugglers pushing tonnes of ganja from the Agency tracts have found unique way of finding a safe passage from the point of purchase to the plain areas to evade the checking squads from Prohibition and Excise department and the armed police.

Visakhapatnam: Smugglers pushing tonnes of ganja from the Agency tracts have found unique way of finding a safe passage from the point of purchase to the plain areas to evade the checking squads from Prohibition and Excise department and the armed police.

They started appointing tribal students, who could ride motorcycles and use mobiles effectively. Each student is given Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per trip depending upon the quantity, a mobile and a motorcycle on a temporary basis.

The students have to ride down from the hills ahead of the vehicles carrying ganja and look for special squads and check points. After which, they will alert the transporter through his mobile and look for alternative safe routes.

SP Rahul Dev Sharma, who was aware of these new trends in the ganja trade, said his forces would not spare the students and even would not hesitate to book cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. “We will not only arrest the students and other carriers, we will track down the kingpins and their activities,” he added.

Regarding control of harvesting of ganga in the deep forests and mostly Maoist-dominated areas, the SP said he would not risk sending in armed police personnel for preventing ganja harvesting as they have been deployed for special task of preventing Maoist activities.

It is the duty of Prohibition and Excise department but the police will lend all out support to that department, he added. “The smuggling of ganja has reached alarming proportions with smugglers coming from all corners of the country.

About 1,200 families are involved in the trade with funds given by the smugglers in advance. Each family earns about Rs 5 lakh for one acre of crop,” said Bodaralla sarpanch S Suribabu.

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