Friday March 24 2006 11:34 IST
KOZHIKODE: The Customs (Preventive) Division here and the Customs Narcotic Cell, Palakkad, in a joint operation, destroyed ganja plants with an estimated worth of Rs 13 crore in Attappadi area on Wednesday.
The plants, numbering approximately 16,000, were ripe for harvest and were spread over a vast area at Budeyar in Agali forest. The Customs team, comprising 18 officials, entered the forest area at 3.30 AM on Wednesday and trekked for about four hours through the dense forest to the ganja plots.
The Customs officials had to fire three rounds in air to prevent any possible attack from the ganja cultivators. No one was arrested in connection with the raid.
The operation was led by Superintendent N J Sajive (Divisional Intelligence, Kozhikode) and C N Raveendran (Customs Narcotic Cell, Palakkad), under the direction of Customs (Preventive) Commissioner M. Vinodkumar and Customs (Preventive) Deputy Commissioner P R Vijayan.
Superintendent Sajive said the ganja planters were supposedly from Idukki district. Though the team spotted two persons atop the hill, they had fled the scene by the time the Customs officials climbed up the hill.
Though local tribals at Budeyar put up a mild resistance, they soon gave up.