In an operation to make Andhra Pradesh cannabis free, the state Police seized huge quantities of the crop and burnt them in the Anakapalli district.
The operation was carried out under the ‘Operation Parivarthana’ launched with the intention of making Andhra Pradesh a cannabis-free state after several miscreants were caught smuggling ganja across the Andhra-Odisha border, said CM Trivikram Varma, the DIG of Guntur Range.
“We have distributed free vegetable and other commercial crops through a seed distribution program which was carried out under the supervision of the police, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Horticulture and ITDA. It was organised to create awareness with the Kalajata groups so that they plant alternative crops,” he added.
Varma said that currently cannabis cultivation is spread over 650 acres.
However, in the previous year, 7500 acres of cannabis had been destroyed as part of the operation.
Police and SEB officials jointly destroyed 650 acres of cannabis cultivation in Munchingiputtu, Pedabayalu, G.Madugula, Annavaram and Seeleru.
“In every cannabis case, we try to break down the entire supply and demand network by identifying backward and forward linkages,” said the DIG.
“We are conducting extensive inspections by setting up check posts at important areas and intersections that are useful for the illegal transportation of cannabis from the AOB area to different areas,” he added.
He also said that unannounced raids are being conducted at various places based on tip-offs about the transportation of ganja.
“Following the cultivation of cannabis in various districts of Odisha along the Andhra-Odisha border, the harvest goes to various states and regions via Anakapalli and Visakhapatnam districts,” said Varma.
He also said that Police and Special Enforcement Bureau officials are using Adrin imagery technology to locate cannabis crops through satellite phones, and confirm and destroy them through drones.