Berhampur (Odisha), Aug 12: Continuing with the crackdown on ganja peddlers in Odisha's Kandhamal district, police seized over 72 kg of the contraband and arrested four persons from two places in last couple of days.
A car and an autorickshaw used for carrying the ganja, were also seized, police said.
Police arrested Govinda Digal of Talapada under Phulbani Sadar Police limits, at Sarki Chhak under Gochhapada police limits yesterday and seized 21 kg of ganja from his possession, they said.
Similarly, Loknath Beura and Baikuntha Bhatta, both from Cuttack district, and Sahalam Khan of Dhenkanal were nabbed from Marapada the previous day while allgedly transporting 51.7 kg of ganja in a car, police added.
"In the last eight months, over 980-kg ganja have been seized from different places in the district and 45 peddlers, including two policemen, arrested", said Kandhamal district SP K V Singh.
Altogether 24 cases have been registered at different police stations. "We have launched a special drive to check illegal transportation of ganja in the district", the SP said.
Besides several towns in the state, police suspect the contraband is being illegally transported to Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Kerala.
The nexus between police and ganja smugglers too was exposed with the arrest of the two cops. "To curb the ganja menace, we have set up an anti-narcotic cell at the district police headquartes in Phulbani.
The cell will collect information on ganja cultivation and act against persons, involved in smuggling of the same, in a time-bound manner," Singh said.
Ganja cultivation over 737 acre was destroyed this year and 18 arrested for engaging in the illegal activity, he added.