Cuttack, Aug 31
Concerned over the largescale cultivation of ganja in Odisha, the state government has decided to form multi-agency squads in each district.
The squad, comprising officers from the police, excise, revenue and forest departments will destroy ganja plants. Wherever required, the squad will resort to aerial spray of poisonous liquid to ensure complete destruction of ganja plantations.
A conference held at the Crime Branch headquarters here on Friday decided that officers from the concerned departments would jointly plan and undertake regular raids in the areas where ganja is cultivated on a large scale.
Police suspect that ganja cultivation in certain areas is being done in an organised way to help the Maoist outfits reap rich benefits.
As per the decision taken in the meeting, the squads would work in tandem to destroy the cultivation and identify and arrest the persons involved in such clandestine activities.
The meeting later fixed district-wise targets for destruction of ganja plants.
Ganja cultivation was destroyed in over 1,575 acres of land during 2011-12, and in the subsequent year, over 1,300 acres were also destroyed.