Bhubaneswar: Worried over frequent crackdown by excise and police personnel, brown sugar peddlers in the Capital have started procuring the contraband in smaller quantities. Peddlers have also started utilising public transport buses and trains as safe means for their ‘products’.
Excise officials said seizure of brown sugar less than 250 grams is considered a small quantity as they have to file charge-sheet in 60 days making it easier for them to get bail. However, if the seizure exceeds 250 grams, charge-sheet has to be filed in 180 days.
Around a dozen cases related to brown sugar seizure have taken place in the past two months while the police seized only 20 grams from two peddlers near Jharapada Sunday. Police have also seized a motorcycle used for transporting the contraband by the accused identified as Ajay Parida, 19, and Ramesh Das, 19. Police said the accused reside at Haladi Padia slum which has turned into a safe zone for peddlers.
As per official statistics, police have managed to seize 8.7 grams of brown sugar in Bhubaneswar between 2011 and 2015. However, the seizure went around one kilogram between 2016 and 2017 in the city. Though police are yet to release the figures related to brown sugar seizure in 2018 it is expected to be higher since the inception of Commissionerate Police in 2008.
Excise officials said the root of the peddling racket stems from Balasore and adjoining areas. “The banned drug is smuggled into Odisha from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. Small time traders in the slums procure it from Balasore and adjoining areas and sell it in Bhubaneswar.