Fence eating the crop: Karnataka cop, 3 others held with over 17 kg of ganja in Odisha’s Kandhamal

The head constable reportedly told the Odisha police that was in that state as part of an investigation.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Nov 05, 2023 | 7:00 AMUpdatedNov 05, 2023 | 7:00 AM

Representational image of an accused behind bars.

In another instance of the fence eating the crop, a Karnataka police head constable and three others, including two from Bengaluru, were arrested from a bus stand at Sarangada in Odisha’s Kandhamal district on charges of peddling ganja.

Identifying the accused as Anand K attached to the Jigani police station in rural Bengaluru, Shyam Kumar, an alleged drug peddler, Jayant Kumar Patra, a businessman — both residents of Bengaluru — and Naresh Kumar Pradhan of Gundurigaon in Kandhamal, the Odisha police said ganja weighing 17.5 kg was seized from them.

The police said the men were arrested based on a tip-off and after a brief chase. Head constable Anand reportedly told the police that he was in Odisha as part of an investigation into a drug case registered in his police station.

However, he could not present any document to substantiate his claim.

Additionally, the Odisha police got suspicious on learning that he was “investigating” the case alone, and he had not intimated the local police about the probe. Further, he could not justify his association with Kumar, who had been earlier arrested by the Sarangada police in a drug case.

Since Anand’s explanations were unsatisfactory, the Odisha police recorded his arrest along with the others.

Meanwhile, the Jigani police said Anand was in Odisha as part of a probe. Police sources in Jagani claimed to South First that Anand, along with his informer, met the drug dealer in person, procured the banned substance as part of a plan, and was heading to the local police station when he was picked up.

However, no senior Bengaluru rural police officers commented on the incident.

Related: 7 Bengaluru cops arrested or suspended for theft, bribes in a week

Not the first time

Incidentally, this was not the first time that the Karnataka police were left red-faced.

In the first week of August this year, four Karnataka policemen, including an inspector attached to the Whitefield CEN police station, were detained in Kerala for demanding a bribe to release two men picked up in a cryptocurrency cheating case.

The detained cops were then identified as Whitefield CEN police inspector Shivaprakash, head constables Vijayakumar and Shivanna, and constable Sandesh.

According to the Kerala police, the Karnataka police team had travelled to Kochi and detained two men, Akhil Antony, and Joseph Nikhil, from the Thoppumpady bridge in Kochi.

When told that they would be taken to Karnataka, the men insisted the police from the neighbouring state inform the local police station. The Karnataka cops then informed the Palluruthy police station before heading for Karnataka.

En route, they stopped in Thrissur for food, and the police through a third accused arrested in the case named Naushad from Vengara in Malappuram district, demanded ₹25 lakh to free the duo.

On further bargaining, they reportedly brought the demand down to ₹10 lakh and promised immediate release if ₹5 lakh was paid. Nikhil’s father arranged ₹3 lakh, while Akhil managed to raise close to ₹1 lakh. The cash was handed over to the cops who had by then checked into a Thrissur hotel.

Later an advocate complained to a senior police officer in Kerala stating the Karnataka policemen had extorted money from his two clients.

The Kalamassery police intercepted the Karnataka police vehicle and detained the four policemen, who could not provide a convincing answer regarding the ₹3 lakh in their possession. However, the police officers were issued notices after an inquiry and were not arrested.