Due to the excessive ganja trade in the city, Visakhapatnam, which is otherwise known for its peace and tranquility in southern peninsula, is becoming a destination for illegal firearms and ammunition coming in from Bihar and Odisha. In a span of 20 days, there has been an arrest of eight anti-social elements from Bihar and seizure of eight automatic country-made pistols and according to the reports, most of them are being procured by the local ganja traders in bid to dominate the trade and eliminate their rivals.
One among the eight members arrested, D Raju confessed to the police that he paid Rs 4 lakh to his friend from Bihar for the weapons which were exclusively meant to eliminate his rivals operating from Rolugunta mandal in the agency.
With turnover of 2000 crores , ganja has been harvested in more than 10,000 acres in the agency areas bordering Odisha and the arrest of 600 smugglers last year points to a fact that the trade has reached an alarming stage with advent of weapons.
According to reports, a senior officer has confessed that, “What we are seizing from the traders is miniscule. More than 90 per cent of the contraband is carried by foot soldiers who carry it to the safe point on the National Highway or Railway Station.”
Last year in September, the Odisha police raided an assembling unit in Kandhamal district and after interrogation found out that on an average, they were manufacturing seven to eight country-made firearms a month and supplied them to various buyers in the region, and some might have found their way into Visakhapatnam city. With only 753 people in the city possessing license for the weapons use, there has been an enrollment of 968 weapons. Every year around 50 people apply for license but the police reject most of them in order to reduce the threat.