Lakshadweep islands lured by a ganja high

Ganja seems to have emerged the new fad among youngsters in Lakshadweep Islands, a designated dry land, going by the number of cases registered both there and the mainland post-lockdown.

The Harbour police have registered eight cases for attempted smuggling in of ganja to the archipelago, while around 15 cases registered by the Kavaratti police under the Lakshadweep Prohibition Regulation during the same period also accounted for drugs along with liquor.

The arrest of a 19-year-old defence personnel, a resident of Kadamath island in Lakshadweep, by the Harbour police with 2.50 kg of ganja recently from T.D. Road was the latest in a string of attempts to smuggle in the drug to the archipelago. This was after the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) intercepted four parcels sent via speed post with over 1 kg of ganja meant for Lakshadweep and handed them over to the Harbour police.

“We had found that a single person had sent all four of them, and a tip-off led us to the accused. We are now tracking down the source of the drugs in his possession, though he claims to have received it from parties in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad. He also seems to have a regular clientele in Lakshadweep. Sending ganja as parcels in small quantities to avoid easy detection appears to be a preferred modus operandi,” said T.G. Rajesh, Sub Inspector, Harbour police.

The Kavaratti police said turning ship employees into hirelings for smuggling in both drugs and liquor seems to be on the rise. Mohammed Khaleel, Sub Inspector, Kavaratti, recalled an incident in which a radio officer of a passenger ship allegedly colluded with a nexus to smuggle in 43 bottles of foreign liquor.

“Ganja is now the most popular drug on the island, and it almost entirely comes from Ernakulam. Before the pandemic breakout, people could easily move around and consume it in Ernakulam and come back, which is not the case now, with restrictions in place. As a result, there are increasing attempts to smuggle in the drug through conduits,” said Mr. Khaleel.

The Kavaratti police had foiled an attempt to smuggle in the drug hidden in a cargo of fruits recently. He bemoaned that even girls were now using the drug after getting used to it during their stints in Kerala or Bengaluru for higher studies.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 11:20:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/lakshadweep-lured-by-a-ganja-high/article33006462.ece

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