Jaleswar: The block in Balasore district is said to be a hub of drug peddling. Despite raids, drug peddling has not been stopped till date, even as the Jaleswar and Bhograi excise police stations are not equipped with staff and facilities.
It is said that for shortage of staff, excise police have been unable to have a grip on the drug mafia operating in the area.
Jaleswar excise police station is split into two jurisdictional areas. But only one IIC is handling the two police stations along with an ASI and four constables.
Raibania, Kamarda, Bhograi and Marine police station areas are under Jaleswar excise police station.
In 1991, Bhograi excise police station was set up.
Reports said, excise police are handicapped due to staff shortage to monitor drug peddling in coastal areas.
About 80- km of coast sharing borders of Odisha and West Bengal, from Udaypur beach up to Raibania Sardar Bandh has remained unguarded.
As a result, bootleggers and drug peddlers push about 8000 litres of illegal liquor and huge amounts of brown sugar through porous water routes into Jaleswar.
Moreover, reports also said banned narcotics like brown sugar are smuggled directly from Bangaldesh, Murshidabad, Karagpur and Kolkota though various conduits into Jaleswar area.
In such a situation, an ill-staffed excise police station will not be able to keep tabs on drug peddlers on long porous coastal borders. Posts of two ASIs and seven constables are lying vacant. On the other hand, Bhograi excise police station is run from a rented house. This police station requires an ASI and five constables. However, the excise police station has only two constables.
It is said that at least two inspectors, 8 ASIs and 15 constables are needed for running of both the excise police stations in this vulnerable coastal pocket.
A few years ago, STF had arrested Sk Raj, a dug mafia with international links. Till recently, hooch and liquor had been flowing from West Bengal into Phuladi, Chasakhand, Haladipada, Rupsa, Basta, Kadraiyan and Jaleswar areas. After raids, the volume of illegal transaction has come down.
However, drug peddling is still on in the coastal area. It is evident from the fact that Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Police seized over 4 kg of brown sugar at Jamalpur along the NH-16 under Jaleswar block in the night of August 26-27. Two peddlers were arrested.
Notably, due to sustained drive in 2020 so far STF alone has seized over 20 kg of brown sugar in various parts of the state.