Palakkad: After bars in the state re-opened, the Excise Department has shifted its focus from illegal liquor to ganja. As a result, 1200 kg of the contraband was seized in 2017. Between July and November, in the first six months after the reopening of bars, around 750 kg of ganja was seized, figures showed. 

When the new liquor policy was announced, the state government had justified its decision by pointing out the rise in number of abkari cases allegedly due to the previous government's liquor policy which closed down bars.

Excise started a massive operation against ganja in the state after Exicse Commissioner Rishiraj Singh gave strict directives to take action against ganja and drug sale.

Excise has registered over 12,000 abkari cases and arrested over 10,000 people from January to June. Over 7000 people were also arrested in 8000 abkari cases from July to November.

Around 2,500 drug cases involving ganja sale were registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act from January to June. Number of cases reached 3000 later and 3000 people were arrested within five months.

Excise department has initiated widepread raids in the state ahead of New Year. It has been reported that illegal sale of ganja will mark a record in the year end.

More people got attracted to ganja sale after it turned a profitable business. Wholesale dealers can earn upto Rs 1800 from transporting ganja from Tamil Nadu. Whereas retail traders earn Rs 500 from sale of 5 kg of ganja. They earn upto Rs one lakh from this illegal business.