Kuravilangad: Kottayam town and the nearby areas seem to be under the grip of the drugs mafia as suggested by its forced release of an arrested youth from the grip of the Excise personnel. The video of the daring incident has gone viral and was shot by the police. The incident took place at Pattithanam Chumaduthangi Junction on MC Road on Monday evening.
Though the police have the images, most of the culprits are still roaming free though they can be clearly identified. The images show the goons wielding swords and other weapons. Jis Thomas (40), driver of the goods vehicle in which the gang travelled, and a minor aged 17 were nabbed by the police. A search was launched for the remaining men who were part of the 15-member gang at Ettumanur, Chathamala, Kanakkary, Kottamuri Colony and Kottakkappuram colony, but to no avail.
Achu Santhosh, a goon who was part of the gang that forcibly freed the youth -- Bibin Babu (22) -- from the Excise, had claimed in a viral video: “It was myself who bit Santhosh Sir and stabbed a policeman. I am an accused in several other cases too.”
More images and a video of the Excise team speaking to some gangsters are also circulating on social media. But it later emerged that the visuals were shot before they nabbed . It was while taking away Bibin that the gang attacked the Excise team.
Police feel that as soon as the Excise vehicle carrying Bibin started from Kanakkary railway gate, the gangsters contacted each other and hatched a plan to forcibly release him.
Around 700 cases have already been registered by the police and Excise this year. This is double the last year’s figure. Those nabbed in the cases include even school children. Many of them were even ready to kill to obtain addictive substances.
14 officials in hospital
The Excise personnel faced four attacks from ganja gangs this year. As many as 14 officials are undergoing treatment in hospital after suffering injuries in the violence.
Notorious gangster and murder accused Panambalam Koprayil Jaysmon, alias Alotty (25), was arrested amid high drama last May. A team of the Excise led by an Inspector had reached Jaysmon’s house based on a tip-off that members of the ganja mafia were hiding there. But the gang escaped after attacking the officials with swords. Some officials suffered injuries; however, the accused were later arrested.
Ganja for mother
Recently, an 82-year-old mother of four women was brought to Kottayam Medical College Hospital in a serious condition. The doctor, who attended to the woman, sensed foul play and informed the police. During questioning by the police, it was revealed that her daughters used to drug her with ganja before leaving her alone in the house during daytime. This was ostensibly done to prevent the mother from creating trouble.
The health scare reported to the police occurred due to ganja overdose.
Sales at burial ground
A man who sold ganja between 2 am and 4 am near the burial ground at Manganam was recently arrested. He used to sell the item only to regular customers who booked it over phone. Sales would take place after he confirmed that police or Excise officials did not accompany customers.
The police finally nabbed him after making repeated contacts. The man was arrested from Manganam the day he had to appear before the Thodupuzha court for selling ganja.
Ganja gangs are active at Nagampadam bus stand and Thirunakkara ground, among other places.
A man lost his life after he questioned the use of ganja by a neighbour. The incident took place under the Pallikkathode police station limits. A 29-year-old man was arrested by the police over the death of P T Thomas (Ullas, 34) of Paraykkal, Mayiladikkara.
Statistics till Nov 27, 2018
Youths arrested in connection with narcotics cases – 300
Number of cases registered by the Excise – 467
Total number of accused – 518
Number of arrested persons – 510
Seized stuff – Ganja 23 kg, hashish oil 510 grams and narcotic tablets 450.