Shimla: On a day when the Washington state in USA legalized the use of marijuana, a strange case of high quality marijuana (Malana Cream Charas) from the badlands of Kullu valley that provoked police guards to turn thieves has surfaced. The district police has stumbled upon to their amazement that 28 Kgs Charas and 4 Kgs of Opium has gone missing from their custodial stocks.
Police was in possession of the charas stocks as court property from catches made over the years and was responsible for it till a time the courts decided the cases pertaining to particular assignments; after which it is periodically destroyed.
In 2012, over 150 Kgs of Charas had been destroyed after court had decided the related cases.
It was while the operation to destroy the contraband was underway recently that the police noticed that some consignments were missing.
The charas gone missing was for the 2002-04 period,” said Ashok Kumar, district police chief of Kullu.
Four policemen given charge to guard and maintain the charas catch stock have been booked in a case made out. Two policemen, which includes an Assistant Sub Inspector and a head constable, have been put under suspension, said the police superintendent.
Though the police arrested the head constable but he was granted bail by the local courts after the ASI was given interim bail by the HP High Court.
While the police is having a tough time in containing the multi-million dollar illegal charas trade in the valley, the police were surprised that after having painstakingly laid traps to get hold of drug lords and peddlers, the contraband in custody as part of court property was not even safe in police warehouses.
The records have been intelligently forged by the culprits, first by reducing the stock amount carried over from year to year and then in one year it is shown destroyed and is written off even though a case pertaining to the matter has not been decided by the courts yet, said the police officer.
An internal enquiry was conducted and a case has been made out. The personnel responsible for the safe custody of the contraband for the period when the Charas went missing stand booked, he said.
When contacted Director General Police ID Bhandari said, “it was one of its kind cases. But it was a vigilant police that has been able to pin down suspects about court property stocks having gone missing from police warehouses itself.”
Charas cultivation was legal in much of Kullu valley till parliament by passing the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) criminalized it in 1985.
Himachal is a major producer of the charas, contributing as much as 25 percent of the country’s contraband trade in the substance.