KARNATAKA

Ganja worth Rs. 20 lakh seized in Sakleshpur

Staff Correspondent

Two persons have been arrested in this connection



The area where the ganja was planted is a reserve forest

Trekkers found the ganja plants and informed the police



HASSAN: The Sakleshpur Rural police and the Forest Department conducted a raid in the Aramane Betta forest adjacent to Kadumane Estate in Sakleshpur taluk and seized ganja worth Rs. 20 lakh.. Police arrested two persons, a local man, Bilisare Ganesh, and Paul from Kerala. The police have registered a case.

Superintendent of Police Panduranga Rane said that unless staff members of the Forest Department were hand in glove with the accused, the cultivation of ganja in the reserve forest area was not possible.

He said that H.M. Vikram and his friends Prithvi, Heggaravalli Sudhir, Agani Shivu and others were trekking in Aramane Betta.During the trek they came across the ganja plants. They took photos which they handed over to the Sakleshpur Rural Sub-Inspector after their return.

Mr. Rane said the offenders had adopted a new method. They cultivated the ganja in a plastic bag and then transferred it into 600 pits in the reserve forest area below Aramane Betta about 20 days ago. One could reach the area only by trekking through the forest. The accused had also cut down plants on two acres of land in the forest before planting the ganja.

On Sunday, the Sakleshpur police and the Forest Department staff, led by Mr. Vikram and his friends, went to the spot where the ganja was grown. Three persons were there and one person ran away when he saw the officials. The police fired five rounds to scare the accused. They then arrested the other two persons.

Mr. Rane said the police seized pipes used to water the ganja plants, spraying equipment, boxes of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Police also found a newly erected hut and germinated ganja seeds inside.

The officials burnt the entire crop. An enquiry revealed that Ganesh had been cultivating ganja for a year. Ganesh said Paul was his boss. The police suspect that more people are involved.

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