It was June 5, World Environment Day, when people all over the world were planting trees and saplings. The same day, in a village called Kandachira in Kerala‚Äôs Kollam, a few individuals planted cannabis by the roadside and declared that this was a plant they loved. At least that was an eyewitness's account when he tipped the Excise Department about it. A team led by Kollam Excise Special Squad Sub Inspector T Rajeev found the saplings, 60 cm and 30 cm long respectively, from the road between Kurishadi junction in Kandachira and the bypass.
It was Kollam Excise Special Squad Circle Inspector I Noushad who got tipped by a witness of the incident. He was also told that a young man 'addicted to ganja' had led a few others to do the planting on World Environment Day. "Let this plant grow here," the men apparently said before planting the two saplings there and taking photos of it on their phones. These ganja lovers have however not been caught yet.
There was a similar tip that ganja plants were also seen under the Mangad bypass bridge. However the Excise team could not find any cannabis plants there. But there were signs that cannabis was planted there earlier. "We also got information that the plants were maintained by a resident of Kandachira who was previously involved in a ganja case," the Excise release said.
Watch: Excise Squad seize the ganja
The accused will soon be caught, informed Assistant Excise Commissioner B Suresh. "We think that the ganja lobby is trying new methods since there is a lockdown and they cannot travel to other states to smuggle in ganja from there," the release said.
In April, four people were arrested from a hotel in Ernakulam for possessing MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy or molly) and ganga in a joint operation by the Excise and the Customs departments of Kochi.