Assembly polls: 20-fold increase in seizures in Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland
A special inter-agency team constituted to control illegal drugs resulted in Rs 14.12 crore worth of ganja cultivation being destroyed in Tripura
Seizures totalling over Rs 147 crore have been recorded so far in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland, marking a 20-fold increase in recovery of drugs, liquor and cash meant to induce voters in the run up to the polls, the Election Commission said on Thursday.
A special inter-agency team constituted to control illegal drugs resulted in Rs 14.12 crore worth of ganja cultivation being destroyed in Tripura.
"The recorded seizures in the three states mark a significant increase with over 20 times increase in seizures as compared to assembly elections in 2018," the poll panel said.
During visits to the poll-going states in January, the Election Commission had exhaustively reviewed the preparations with central and state enforcement agencies, the poll panel pointed out .
While announcing the poll schedule, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar had stressed on increased vigil and zero tolerance on distribution of inducements during electoral process.
Due to coordinated efforts of enforcement agencies, extensive monitoring, marking of expenditure sensitive constituencies and adequate deployment of field teams, "the results are encouraging" with the three states witnessing seizures of Rs 147.84 crore after announcement of elections which surpasses the seizures made in entire duration of enforcement of Model Code of Conduct in assembly elections, 2018 which was all of Rs 7.24 crore, the EC said.
"Big operations include seizure of 3.52 kg of heroin in Dhalai district amounting 10.58 crore made by police. Seizures of heroin were also reported from East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya (2.447 Kg) and from Chumoukedima district in Nagaland (2.27 kg), done by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence," it noted.
In Tripura where voting is underway, keeping in mind the sensitivity of drugs and illegal ganja cultivation, special team consisting of district police, forest officials, BSF, anti-narcotics unit and other agencies was formed in Sepahijhala and West Tripura district after announcement of elections.
In Sepahijhala, total destruction of ganja plantation and seizure of dry ganja amounts to Rs 9.27 crore.
In West Tripura district, the figures of ganja destruction is Rs 3.75 crore. In North Tripura also, seizure of ganja of 529 kg amounting to 1.10 crore was made, it said.
Similar actions are being taken in the other two poll-going states and the seizures of drugs and psychotropic substances constitute 58 per cent of total seizures reported from the three states.
Increased seizures are being witnessed under all heads of cash, liquor, drugs, precious metals and freebies, the poll watchdog observed.