AFTER A year’s gap, Bihar has again emerged as the state with the highest number of seizures of ganja (cannabis), according to the latest report on smuggling in India by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
In 2020-21, a total of 13,446 kg of ganja was seized in Bihar in 12 cases, while 9,001 kg were seized from ten cases in Nagaland and 8,386 kg from six cases in UP.
In total, the DRI seized around 45 MT of ganja in the country. The other states from where significant amounts of ganja were seized are Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
According to the DRI report, the pandemic presented a new challenge as ingenious concealment methods for smuggling of gold and narcotics emerged. Courier and postal cargo emerged as the most preferred mode of transportation of drugs by traffickers in 2020-21, it said.
Overall, the trend in seizures is seen as reflective of production and consumption trends even as the DRI described it as a “national security concern”. “DRI continued seizures of ganja in FY 2020-21 also, which is in consonance with production and consumption of ganja in India,” the DRI report said.
Ganja is controlled under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. “It is also a national security concern as the areas involved in the trafficking activities of ganja are affected by left wing extremism. The illicit proceeds from the trafficking of ganja are reportedly used for financing the anti-national activities by such extremist groups,” the report said.
In 2018-19, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Assam accounted for the majority of the seizures. The states topping the list in 2019-20 were UP, Maharashtra, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.
In the financial year 2019-20, the DRI had detected 412 cases of smuggling resulting in seizure of contraband worth Rs 1,949 crore.
“There is a distinct trend emerging from these seizures, which indicates a flow of huge quantities of ganja coming from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, passing through Telangana, Chhattisgarh and MP before reaching the consumption centres in northern states India, mainly UP and Bihar. Some quantities of ganja of the same origin reach Maharashtra, too, for consumption…,” the DRI had said in its report for 2019-20.