Days after Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol claimed that there were no more plots in the city where marijuana plants were growing, another patch of cannabis growth was discovered on the Mula-Mutha riverbed on Friday night. The police have now decided to write to the district administration and local police stations to survey the riverbed.
On Friday night, the Anti-Narcotics Cell raided a two-acre plot near the old Bundgarden bridge and arrested one Guddu Lala Prajapati, 22, of Kharadi who had been selling the marijuana growing on this plot at a betel shop in Kharadi. The raid was conducted based on a tip-off received from the informants of Assistant Police Inspector Vinod Patil of the cell. The police recovered around 48 kg marijuana worth Rs 4 lakh in the raid.
On February 20, information from the interrogation of two suspected marijuana peddlers had led the police to a two-and-a-half-acre plot on Mula-Mutha riverbed in Mundhwa where 450 cannabis plants were found.
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At the annual crime review conference earlier this week, Pol had said there were no more marijuana plots left after the raid in Mundhwa.
However, even though more plants have been discovered, the police still believe the cannabis growth at both plots could have happened because of the seed dispersal from some initial natural growth. Inspector Sunil Tambe of the cell said: “At both these places, we have found that the plants were randomly spaced. As of now, this seems to be a natural growth and these people were plucking the leaves for sale.
The people who have been arrested till now are construction workers. There is a lot of construction work going on in this area and we suspect there are some more people, mostly migrant labourers, who are into selling the leaves.”
A senior police officer said: “Both these plots are government land. We are now going to write to the district administration and the local police stations to do a survey of several acres of land in the riverbed in areas like Yerawada, Kondhwa and Mundhwa to find whether there are more similar growths. We now believe there are several such plots where cannabis plants are growing.”
The investigation has revealed that Prajapati used to work as a gardener earlier and had come to know about the marijuana plants through another gardener. The investigating team comprised PSI Arun Gaud and constables Ashok Pernekar, Rakesh Gujar, Ramdas Jadhav, Krushna Nighalkar, Rajendra Barshinge, Vasudev Patil and Dnyandev Ghanwat.