It was a credible lead about a planned transaction of a ganja consignment in their district, that spurred the Nalgonda police into action on February 8. In the 24 hours that followed the information, the task force, the technical team and the local police led by district SP Rema Rajeswari worked together to bust the ganja operation. Out of 9 people involved, 7 were arrested and 2 are presently absconding. A Sarpanch, affiliated to the ruling-TRS party, from Narayankhed town in Telangana’s Sangareddy district was among those who have been arrested. The cops seized 3 vehicles, 11 cell phones and Rs 4 lakhs in cash from the possession of the accused. Police across districts have been on high alert following strict instructions from the Chief Minister that special drives should be carried out to put an end to the ganja nexus in the state.
The Innova car that was loaded with the ganja consignment
Who were the major players?
G Venkatanarayana, the main accused in the case, is a resident of Turkayamjal in the Rachakonda police station limits. He befriended 23-year-old Bhanot Ramesh, who sold pani puri for a living. Ramesh decided to join Venkatanarayana to make some easy money and also roped in his brother. As part of the operation, the brothers were entrusted with the task of collecting the consignment. They were informed that it was a ganja consignment and that they would make good money if they successfully accomplished the task.
Meanwhile, the brothers reached out to Pundalik Nayak, the Sarpanch of their village in Narayankhed mandal of Telangana’s Sangareddy district and informed him about their plan and also asked him to be a part of the operation. The Sarpanch, a man with contacts of people who have taken ganja consignments to Maharashtra in the past, offered to arrange a team and make other arrangements for the operation. The Sarpanch roped in Rahul Gadse from Solapur district of Maharashtra. Rahul, who runs a flower business accompanied by Akshay Sanjay Babber, agreed to be a part of the operation.
The seized cell phones and the money recovered from the possession of the accused
How the cops cracked down
Hyderabad-based Venkatanarayana got in touch with Odisha-based Satyababu who hails from Malkangiri. A driver was arranged to collect the ganja consignment from Satyababu at Bhadrachalam in Bhadradri Kothagudem district in Telangana. The consignment was loaded into an Innova car and was then brought to Nalgonda.
The ganja was packed neatly into 2-kg packets and there were a total of 230 packages. The packages were loaded into the car and covered using a bedsheet. Speaking to TNM, Nalgonda SP, Rema Rajeswari said, “Usually the consignments that are caught are well covered and difficult to easily identify. However, in this particular case the car’s seat was folded and the packages were neatly arranged. They thought that by leaving it like passenger luggage they could get away without being noticed.”
In Nalgonda district’s Chityal, the two teams-the supply team and the collection team, met at a dhaba where the transaction was meant to take place. Police swooped in on them and took seven of them into custody. Satyababu the man from Odisha who supplied the consignment managed to escape. A team has been presently deployed to nab him.
“Altogether around 25 police personnel were part of the crackdown operation. There were members from the task force, personnel from the local police station, inspectors and the technical team who were involved. We monitored them for nearly 24 hours, before cracking down on them. They had planned to collect the consignment and then travel to Hyderabad and then further to Warangal. From Warangal they had planned to take it to Maharashtra. They were expecting to sell the ganja at Rs 10,000 per kg,” added SP Rajeswari.
According to the police, the usual modus operandi is to bring the ganja consignments to Hyderabad and then load it into buses and then take it to Maharashtra. However, due to the heightened checking, it was decided to load it into buses from Warangal. The 7 members who have been arrested, have been remanded in judicial custody.
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