Agali: In a combined operation by the police and Thunderbolt force, 5000 fully grown marijuana plants were destroyed in Attappadi. The cultivation was on the Bhuthayar Kullad hill.

When dry, each plant would weigh up to 3-4 kg. In aggregate, the plants might cost approximately Rs 3.5 crores in the market, said authorities.

The 5 month-old plants grown on 5 acres of land among the invading shrubs were ready for harvest. The raid was conducted on a discreet message received by the ASP.

ASP Sujith and team set out early morning and reached the spot after 5 hours of trekking. Marijuana operation of such huge quantity was first of its kind in Kerala, said police.

The excise department had destroyed 2.5 acres of weed plantation last month at Chenthamala in Attappadi. These point out that after an interval, marijuana cultivation is gaining strength in Attappadi. Police is searching to find whether more illegal plantations are present in the region.