Visakhapatnam: In what is believed to be the biggest operation of its kind, Andhra Pradesh police on Saturday destroyed more than two lakh kilograms of ganja (cannabis) valued at Rs 500 crore.
The dried ganja was set afire at an event organised on a massive scale by the police Visakhapatnam district.
Director General of Police D. Gautam Sawang lit one of the heaps of seized ganja to formally launch the event that was organised in an open area at Koduru village in Anakapalli mandal.
Andhra Pradesh Police and Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) Visakhapatnam district conducted the event.
The authorities pitched fancy tents and deployed drone cameras, speakers, sound systems for the well-organised programme. Personnel from the Disaster Response Force and fire services department were deployed besides a large number of policemen.
Print and electronic media were also invited to cover the event.
This is said to be the largest quantity of drugs destroyed anywhere in the country in one go.
The ganja was seized during the last two years at various places in north Andhra districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam and also East Godavari.
According to police, the ganja was seized under operation Parivartan. The police registered 1,363 cases and arrested 1,500 accused including 562 from other states.
As part of the operation, the police also destroyed cannabis plants spread over 8,500 acres in the region during the last 15 months.
The Andhra-Odisha border area is notorious for large-scale ganja cultivation. In recent months, police in Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and other states seized huge quantities of ganja while being transported from the region to different places in the country.