Sniffing use of word 'ganja' in chats by Hyderabad authorities comes under criticism

The vigil, checks against alleged peddlers and consumers, are conducted in and around Hyderabad and concentrated in Dhoolpet limits, which is infamous for the supply of ganja.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL


The ongoing crackdown against ganja in Hyderabad has come under criticism as Telangana Prohibition and Excise department teams have been checking the phones of people to verify if the word 'ganja' was used in their chats.

The vigil, checks against alleged peddlers and consumers, are conducted in and around Hyderabad and concentrated in Dhoolpet limits, which is infamous for the supply of ganja. Some parts of the locality are a maze of narrow bylanes.

In a video shot by news-outlet Siasat Daily, a law enforcement official said they checked phones, vehicles, pockets. In phones, they checked for the use of the words ganja, weed, stuff. This video has been circulating since Thursday morning.

Dhoolpet’s Excise Station’s Superintendent K. Naveen Kumar said they had checked phones only in a few cases.

For the past one month at least, the State Police and Excise officials have stepped up vigil in the city to curb transportation and peddling of ganja. Teams from both departments have also been conducting patrols in Dhoolpet.

“We don’t stop everyone coming to the locality and check their phones. When someone comes to Dhoolpet and looks clueless, we ask where did they come from, the purpose of the visit, and other preliminary questions. If there is a suspicion that a person has come to the locality for ganja, we check their phone for use of the word ganja, and nothing else. This is done in rare cases, in presence of the person owning the phone,” said the Dhoolpet Excise superintendent.

Excise's Enforcement (Hyderabad) Superintendent N. Anji Reddy said they checked phones when they find some evidence that a person had ganja with him or consumed it.

"The evidence could be remnants of ganja in pockets, rolling papers. We check phones too when we find this evidence to know who supplied ganja to the person. We don't have intention to invade into privacy of people. But curbing transportation and use of ganja is important," said Mr. Anji Reddy

More than 470 youngsters, who bought or tried to buy ganja in the locality, were caught between September 21 and October 28. According to police, the youngsters were counselled by a clinical psychologist and their parents too were asked to attend the sessions.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had convened a meeting with officials from the police and State Prohibition and Excise department on October 20, where various aspects of the problem were discussed, including the States where ganja is cultivated, the routes used to transport it into Telangana, and how to curb it.

There on, the raids and checks by police, excise teams have intensified. Several seizures were reported in the past few days. A similar exercise to stop drug peddling in Dhoolpet was taken up a few years ago.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, responding to queries from the media on the viral video, clarified that in a few cases of grave and sensational crime, when the suspect is likely to run away, police check all the items. He pointed out that at that time, the police do not know who the gang members are. When they examine the scene of the crime, they check even a laptop, Ipad, cell phone, hard disk, pen drive, and a camera, which is part of digital evidence.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 2:30:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/sniffing-use-of-word-ganja-in-chats-by-hyderabad-authorities-comes-under-criticism/article37211757.ece

Next Story