Begunia: The youths of Begunia are falling prey to addiction as the area has turned into a hub for narcotics and hooch.
Residents of Begunia in Khurda have brought serious charges against the local law enforcement authorities of turning a blind eye to the mafia operating there in return for handsome pay-offs.
According to sources, in the last five months, cops have raided 14 establishments and seized around 600 litres of hooch.
However, only six persons have been arrested in this connection.
It is alleged, the cops conduct raids only after receiving intelligence inputs from their snitches. But it is alleged that the mafia also has its moles in the police who alert the racketeers about the raid beforehand helping them to flee.
“The mafia has greased the palms of some of the cops to forewarn them of any danger. The cops are watching the mafia’s back,” alleged a resident of Begunia.
When asked about the issue, local police and excise officials refuted the allegations and stated that criminal activities in the locality have actually come down due to strict vigil on illegal activities and regular crackdowns.
“Anti-social elements are sprawling everywhere. They haven’t even left our temples and schools for their business,” said a local. He also added that sale of drugs, country liquor, marijuana and brown sugar has seen an exponential growth in the area as the police remain a mute spectator.
Sources said a huge quantity of country liquor is being produced at a brewery in Ranapur area daily , which is then transported to several other parts of the state.
Illegal country liquor is available in areas such as Hirapur, Deuli, Kantabada, Kushapala, Badaberana, Badapadara, Ekadalia and Gobindapur. This apart, Goudanuagaon, Manibanda and Godiapalli have turned into a hub for the marijuana cartel.
On being asked, Begunia inspector-in-charge Sarat Chandra Patra said, “The area has witnessed a drastic reduction in illicit activities as we have mounted a round-the-clock vigil on anti-socials.” He added that raids, with the help of insider information, have helped clamp down on bootlegging.