Vijayawada, November 30: Nearly 648 inter-state ganja smugglers and drug-dealers booked under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act are on a run in Andhra Pradesh for the past ten years.

Among the absconding are drug-peddlers from 15 states. Majority of them (130) hail from Telangana, 122 from Odisha, and 111 from Tamil Nadu.

As many as 4,606 people of various states involved in ganja cases in Andhra Pradesh were arrested in the past ten years. Among the arrested, 947 people belonged to Tamil Nadu, followed by Telangana (908), Odisha (600), Maharashtra (560), and Karnataka (304).

Non-Bailable Warrants (NBWs) are pending against 154 people. They include 59 people from Tamil Nadu and 39 people from Odisha.

Stung by criticism that big sharks are going scot-free, the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) personnel with the support of enforcement agencies of other states have launched a drive to nab some of the inter-state ganja smugglers and dealers to curb the ganja menace in Vizag Agency along Andhra Odisha Border (AOB).

Andhra Pradesh DGP Gowtham Sawang during the inter-state coordination meeting on strategies said that all Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka, Kerala along with Andhra Pradesh will tackle narcotics, with a special focus on cannabis that is grown in Vizag Agency along AOB.

Unless and until nab the kingpins hailing from Tamil Nadu and Kerala are nabbed, it is very difficult to control the ganja menace in the tribal pockets. Most of the ganja cases are being closed after the arrest of a few people.

"No further investigation is being done by inter-state police to nab the masterminds in the trade," said CPM leaders and Joint Action Committee of Tribal Associations.

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