Bhubaneswar: There has been a substantial rise in seizure of brown sugar in Odisha in the last five years.
This was revealed in Excise Minister Niranjan Pujari’s reply to a question by BJD MLA Mahsodhi Bag in the State Assembly.
In the last five years 2014-19 over 10 kg (10,244.931 gms) brown sugar has been seized, 170 cases have been registered and 189 persons have been arrested in the State under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, the Minister said in his reply.
While 774.97 gm of brown sugar was seized in the State in 2014-15, 897.590 gm was seized in 2015-16, 787.551 was seized in 2016-17, 3213.270 gm was seized in 2017-18 and 4571.550 gm was seized in 2018-19.
Similarly, 494.97 quintals of marijuana (ganja) has been seized in the State in the last five years 2014-19, the Minister said.
Pujari stated that total 1726 number of cases have been registered in this connection in the five years while 1822 persons have been arrested under the NDPS Act.
The Minister has stated that in order to check this illegal trade multi-disciplinary squads comprising of officials of Excise, Police, Revenue and Forest departments have been constituted in all districts and added that based on reliable intelligence inputs extensive raids are being conducted resulting in arrests and subsequent forwarding of the accused persons to court.
That apart, Excise Intelligence Units at Cuttack, Sambalpur, and Berhampur and State Intelligence Unit at Cuttack repeated raids are being conducted at different railway stations, bus stands and suspicious places, the Minister said and added that police, STF and NCB are raiding persons dealing in brown sugar and stringent action is being taken against them.
Moreover, in every district, awareness campaigns are being undertaken for sensitizing youth against the consumption of liquor, narcotics, and drugs.
Besides, the State government through its Reward Committee has been rewarding officials, informants, and other individuals working against the drugs trade.