Andhra Pradesh: Top cops of North Andhra region vow to crack down on ganja smugglers

Police Commissioner CM Trivikram Verma and DIG Visakha Range Hari Krishna along with five SPs addressing a press conference in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. , Photo Credit: V. Raju

Strict measures adopted by the police to deal with the menace of cannabis cultivation and trade, awareness campaigns to wean tribals away from cannabis cultivation and encourage them to alternate crops like paddy, kidney beans, red gram and coffee According to police officials in the North Andhra region, the cultivation and trade of ganja has declined.

“In 2021, 7,515 acres of hemp crop in the interior areas of Alluri Saitama Raju district was destroyed by the police as part of ‘Operation Parivartan’. Earlier this year, we found 1,030 acres of hemp crop and destroyed it again. Cultivation has gradually declined,” DIG Visakha range, K. Hari Krishna said at a joint press conference organized by Visakhapatnam city police commissioner CM Trivikram Verma, which also included SPs of Anakapalle, ASR, Srikakulam, Manyam and Vizianagaram Were.

Mr. Trivikram Verma said that the police chiefs of the area have discussed about the action plan to reduce the transportation of ganja in the area. He said that during 2021, 221 NDPS cases were registered in Visakhapatnam district, in which 2,700 kg of ganja was seized. In 2022, 6,220 kg of ganja was seized in 255 cases. Around 1,800 kg of ganja has been seized in 88 cases so far this year, it said, adding that enforcement had been stepped up.

“We have served notices to 510 hotels and 130 transport organizations in Visakhapatnam to keep a tab on visitors and passengers respectively. In some cases, we have received tips from them and weed cases have been busted. We have increased awareness campaign,” he said.

He said that a proposal is being made to impose PD Act on active peddlers. He said that especially those who supply ganja to the youth will not be spared. He also said that checkpoints would be increased in the city.

Anakapalle SP KV Murali Krishna said that there were four permanent checkposts in Anakapalle district to curb the smuggling of cannabis. “In the last one year, we have registered 224 cases, arrested 551 people and seized over 21,000 kg of ganja,” he said.

ASR district SP Tuhin Sinha said that police will distribute seeds of alternative crops to the former cultivators of Ganja in coordination with revenue and other departments.

Vizianagaram SP M. Deepika said that they were planning to invoke the PD Act against repeated ganja peddlers. He said that four static and seven dynamic checkposts have been arranged in the district.

SP Vikrant Patil and GR Radhika of Parvathipuram Manyam and Srikakulam districts respectively said that they have made arrangements for permanent checkposts connecting the Odisha borders to curb ganja smuggling.