Andhra Pradesh

Gutkha ban: border check-posts under surveillance

Deputy SP (Law and Order) conducting random inspection of vehicles near Chittoor on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: BY ARRANGEMENT

The extended ban on the manufacture, sale, distribution, and transport of gutkha and other chewable tobacco products in Andhra Pradesh has prompted the police to intensify surveillance at all border check-posts with neighbouring Karnataka.

Chittoor district shares a lengthy border with Karnataka from Palamaner to Kuppam and from Punganur to Madanapalle. Apart from national and state highways, the border area is crisscrossed by a number of rural roads. In spite of the round-the-clock vigil at all vulnerable entry points, the contraband continues to flood the district.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Law and Order) N. Sudhakar Reddy said that about 100 known offenders allegedly involved in smuggling of the gutkha and chewable tobacco products were identified across Chittoor district.

“Of them 10 offenders are known for regularly procuring bulk stocks from Karnataka and distributing in large-scale in Chittoor district,” he said.

The Deputy SP said that though gutkha and other chewable tobacco products were not prohibited in Karnataka, the dealers there were not permitted to transport the goods to Andhra Pradesh, and the sale of bulk stocks was also prohibited in that State. “We are also getting information about those in Karnataka who supply the contraband to Chittoor district,” Mr. Reddy said.

The official said that in the last one and half years, the Chittoor police had seized gutkha and other contraband goods worth over ₹15 crore, and arrested about 20 accused at various places. The petty shops and kiosks were also raided as part of the drive against the contraband goods.

Special teams formed

“In order not to cause any inconvenience to the passengers on the buses operating between Chittoor and Bengaluru, we have formed special teams to identify the gangs using RTC buses for transporting the stocks,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 10:21:50 PM |

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