Shimla: In one of the biggest seizures of narcotics in recent times, the Himachal Pradesh police on Thursday claimed to have seized 122 kg of charas and 295 kg of ganja in a 20-hour-long operation in the interiors of the Kullu Valley and arrested four people, Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Kundu said. The seizure is worth Rs 4 crore.
"This is one of the biggest seizures of cannabis so far. The accused were involved in drugs activities for a long time and were on the police radar," Kundu said.
As per intelligence inputs, a 27-member joint team of the Kullu police comprising personnel from the Special Investigation Unit carried out raids in the Banjar area.
The police arrested two drugs suppliers and seized charas weighing about 111 kg, whose value in the international market is more than Rs 3 crore. In another action, the police contingent travelled through the forests for two hours in the night and raided the house of two more suspects in Sajahu village. A consignment of 11.588 kg charas cannabis and two unlicenced guns were recovered from their house. The accused have been arrested.
In another case, the police recovered 295 kg ganja. The value of the total drugs seized is approximately Rs 4 crore.
Working on the policy of zero tolerance against drugs, the police have stepped up their anti-narcotics drive this year which has yielded rich dividends, the DGP said.
The police have changed their policy to break the organised criminals involved in illicit trafficking rather than addressing street-level peddlers.
The police have also been conducting investigation about the source and destination of these consignment along with financial investigation so that the properties of the key accused may get attached and confiscated, he added.
The inaccessible valleys and lofty mountains in the western Himalayas are happy hunting grounds for the cultivation of cannabis and opium, police records show. They are the country's biggest drug-producing areas with a considerable quantity finding its way to Europe.
The lure of drugs and quick bucks also attracts foreigners to the largely unexplored areas of Himachal Pradesh, especially the Kullu Valley, where they have become part of the unorganised drugs cultivation.
Police records show that there are 50,000 acres of land under cannabis cultivation in the Kullu Valley alone.
The Magic Valley in the upper reaches of Malana, some 50 km from Kullu town, is known for cultivating 'Malana Cream', a prized quality charas which is a purified resinous extract of cannabis.