Drug movements drop since custodial death

By | October 15, 2019

Seven Excise officers held in the case

Illegal drugs movement, particularly ganja smuggling, has plummeted in the State since the death of a man held for possessing ganja in Excise custody at Guruvayur, Thrissur, on October 1.

The custodial death of Ranjit Kumar and the suspension and arrest of seven Excise officers have jolted both the drug gangs and the law enforcers.

The abrupt fall in ganja seizures across the State since October 1 is considered a direct fallout of the custodial death. Excise Deputy Commissioner V.P. Sulesh Kumar claimed that the death of Ranjit Kumar must have terrified those engaged in the drug trade. “They must be shying away from it because of fear,” he said.

However, fear and despair have gripped many Excise officers who had displayed great enthusiasm during the recent campaigns against drug trafficking.

They are shying away from proactively going after those who smuggle ganja into Kerala.

‘Morale hit’

There has been a perceptible fall in the number of seizures and chases effected through Walayar check-post. A senior Excise officer admitted that their morale had suffered a beating in the wake of the custodial death.

He said Excise officers were not willing to take risks or go the extra mile to nab the drug smugglers.

According to Mr. Sulesh Kumar, his men would never use physical torture to extract information. “We hardly use any force to get information in Palakkad, the district where the most number of drug cases are registered in the State,” he said.

Careful planning

Most seizures of ganja and other narcotic drugs in recent months in the State were a result of careful planning and execution by vigilant Excise officers who took risks. Some involved long and dangerous vehicles chases. Excise officers alone have seized nearly 600 kg ganja in Palakkad this year. According to Mr. Sulesh Kumar, it was a record. More