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Mob halts ganja raid

Berhampur, Aug. 7: Seven employees of the Berhampur excise intelligence wing were injured when a group of villagers attacked them at Rajpur, about 50km from here today.

The mob also damaged the vehicle they were travelling in. Apparently, the villagers were upset because the team was cracking down on the transfer of ganja through the area. Peddling of ganja is rampant in this area and many villagers are willing colluders in the illegal business.

All the injured have been admitted to MKCG Medical College and Hospital. The condition of a few of them is serious.

Assistant sub-inspector Sudhansu Sekhar Singh, who sustained injuries, said: “The villagers attacked us when we were waiting at Rajpur to check a vehicle which we suspected was being used to transport ganja.”

“About 50 villagers armed with staffs gathered there within an hour and started to beat us. The number of the villagers swelled to about 300 until the police reached the spot,” said Singh.

“Ganjam is a transit route for transportation of ganja from Boudh and Gajapati districts to other districts. Many Maoist supporters are involved in this trade. Police inaction against these activities encourages the villagers, who have made this into a profession,” said a senior excise official requesting anonymity.