Ponda sees sudden surge in drug cases

PONDA: Drug cases in Ponda, cultural centre of the state, have seen a sudden spurt this year, raising concerns over the future of the youths of the taluka.

Against 2 cases last year, Ponda has witnessed eight cases so far this year wherein the police and ANC have seized drugs worth around Rs 26 lakh and arrested 10 people including 4 students for illegal possession of drugs.

According to Ponda police, instances of drug peddling or illegal possession of drugs in the taluka were negligible in the past few years, but now it is rising at a fast pace.

From 2013 to 2015, Ponda witnessed only 4 cases, wherein drugs worth Rs 5,000 were seized by Ponda police and four people were arrested. Of the four, in two cases two students were caught with illegal possession of drugs.

But in the last nine months, Ponda has witnessed eight cases of which seven are registered by the Ponda police and one by crime branch and anti narcotics cell of Goa police.

In the seven cases, Ponda police have seized around 15 kg ganja and 5.5 kg charas, all worth Rs 25.81 lakh in international market. And have arrested eight people including two students. While the crime branch and anti narcotics cell in their raid have seized 320 gram ganja worth Rs 32, 000 in international market and arrested two students.

Of the seven cases, 4 were registered in September only and all four accused arrested in the cases are from other states-one from Maharashtra and three from Odisha.

Earlier in April, the police had registered first case of the year wherein a local youth was caught with 5.5 kg charas worth Rs 20 lakh. While in the same month, the crime branch and anti narcotics cell arrested two college students for illegal possession of drugs. The narcotic substance, suspected to be marijuana, was approximately worth Rs 32,000 in the international market.

Later two cases were registered in the month of August. Of the arrested students, three are from Borim, Marcel and Kandepar-Ponda.

The remaining four cases were registered in the month of September.  In these four cases, the police seized around 6 kg ganja worth Rs 3.75 lakh.

It is noted that drug peddlers are targeting school/college students by selling drugs near educational institutions.

DySP Sunita Sawant said that it is true that most of the raids conducted so far have been near educational institutes, but it won’t be possible to say that the drug peddlers are targeting students only.

Ponda, being an industrial area, has a lot of floating population mostly coming from states like UP, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand. Sometimes labourers coming from these areas transport drugs specially ganja with them and besides using it for themselves they sell it to people, alleged Sawant.