Aurangabad: The local crime branch of the Aurangabad rural police was attacked by marijuana smugglers on Friday, when the team reached Naygavhan (45km from the city) to raid the private premises where the smugglers had allegedly stocked the drug.
Two police sub-inspectors, including a woman officer, have been injured in the incident. The crime branch sleuths have, however, seized about five kilograms of high quality marijuana and arrested about 30 accused, including 16 women, and slapped them with various charges under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
When the police entered the premises, the suspects used women members as human shields to protect themselves from any attack. The LCB team raided the premises after a specific tip-off about the activities of the smugglers, who allegedly sell marijuana on highways to drivers of heavy vehicles.
On learning about the incident, journalists from the local media rushed to the spot, only to be beaten up by the police personnel. Later, the police issued a clarification that the media persons were asked to leave as they were misunderstood to be a part of the local mob that had gathered around the premises.
Aurangabad rural superintendent of police Arti Singh told TOI, “While scanning various areas, we realised that Naygavhan was unchecked due to various foul tactics used by the criminals and decided to conduct a raid.”
The woman officer said that there are specific reports that the arrested accused are allegedly infamous for supplying marijuana to drivers of heavy vehicles on highways.
“On studying their modus operandi, we found that using women as human shield against policemen, has remained their time tested formula to avoid being raided,” Singh said.
A case against all the accused has been registered with the Vadod Bazar police station.
Sub-division police officer Ashok Amle, said, “Initially an LCB team led by PSI reached Naygavhan, only to face stiff resistance by the women members belonging to the accused’s family. After the police did not budge, the women became aggressive and started pelting stones and even used sticks to assault policemen.”
An eyewitness said that attack was so fierce that the police team had to retreat. They managed to enter the premises of the accused and seize the banned material, only after several teams from the neighbouring police station along with riot control police reached the spot.