State Times News KATHUA/ Samba: Excise Department on Sunday arrested two drug peddlers and recovered 71 kg poppy straw from his possession at Kathua and Samba. The Vigilant officers / officials of Excise Department at Toll Post Lakhanpur foiled a major attempt of smuggling out Bhukki (Poppy Straw) from the State, when they detected a consignment of 41 Kgs (Approx) poppy straw in a vehicle (JK13B-6689) declared as empty. Later the vehicle alongwith Bhukki and the driver were handed over to the SHO Police Station, Lakhanpur for further action under instant legal provision. This catch assumes great significance as the Lok Sabha elections are due in Kathua and there are increased chances of smuggling of illicit Drugs and liquor during this time of electioneering. The whole operation was supervised by Ashish Kumar Gupta, Deputy Excise Commissioner, Toll Post Lakhanpur and carried out by Excise and Taxation Officers Sajjad Ahmed Sofi alongwith team of Excise Inspectors Javed Iqbal and Harish Chander, Excise Sub-Inspectors Jugal Kishore and Anil Sharma and Excise Guard Shri Shah Hussain. M. Raju, Excise Commissioner, J&K Government appreciated the efforts of team of Toll Post Lakhanpur in detecting the contraband and also enjoined them to work with more zeal and enthusiasm and to carry these types of special drives more in future to thwart nefarious design of smugglers. The drug peddler has been identified as Mohd Saleem, son of Ghulam Nabi, resident of village Battapura Mattan Anantnag Kashmir and a case vide FIR No 24/19 under section 8/15 NDPS Act was registered against him. Meanwhile, a party of Police Station Ghagwal in co-ordination with sleuths of DSB Samba headed by Inspr. Rajeev Kumar , SHO under the supervision of Deepak Digra, Dy.SP Hqrs. Samba laid a special Naka at Tapyal and intercepted one tanker (PB07P-5053) which was on its way from Jammu towards Kathua. During checking of the said vehicle, 30 kg poppy straw was recovered from the chamber of the tanker. The accused driver of the vehicle identified as Santokh Singh, son of Gurdyal Singh, resident of Kharodi Pind, Garh Shanker District Hoshiarpur, Punjab was arrested and case vide FIR No. 38/2019 under Sections 8 and 15 NDPS Act was registered against him at Police Station Ghagwal.
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