30 arrested in J-K police raids against illicit poppy trade

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Awantipora, Feb 8 (PTI) Police have so far arrested 30people and seized huge quantity of poppy from the southerndistricts of the Kashmir Valley.

In the period starting from mid-2010, 30 people werearrested under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Actin south Kashmir''s Awantipora police district, a senior policeofficer said, adding that ten of them were later booked underthe Public Safety Act.

More than 35 quintals of poppy straw were seizedduring the same period, he said.

The southern districts are considered to be a hub ofillicit poppy cultivation.

The biggest cache of poppy straw was seized yesterdaywhen police intercepted a truck laden with 11 quintal of thebanned substance.

Preliminary investigations suggest the consignment wasbeing transported from the Valley to different states and a"big gang of drug peddlers was involved in transporting thesubstance", SP, Awantipora, Mohammad Irshad said.

Three suspected kingpins identified as Ghulam MohammadMakroo, Shabir Ahmad Bhat and Mohammad Akber Wani arepresently evading arrest, he said.

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