Two transgender people were arrested by a joint team from the Odisha Crime Directorate and the Railroad Protection Force (RPF) for possession of approximately 16 kilograms of Ganja (dry cannabis).
According to reports, the two transgendered were lured by a youth from Kandhamal to transport the Ganja from Odisha to Surat.
As the livelihoods of transgender people have been affected due to the Covid lockdown, they are believed to have resorted to such illegal activities to make ends meet.
One of the defendants said they had been induced by a promise of Rs 16,000 by the youngster for work.
“I gave in to the temptation and agreed to take the contraband to someone from Gujarat. The shipment (from Ganja) was bought by someone a month ago and the person from Kandhamal asked me to hand it over to a person in Surat, ”said one of the defendants.
Sources said that as the livelihoods of transgender people have been affected due to the Covid lockdown, they are believed to have resorted to such illegal activities to make ends meet.
The two accused were arrested Tuesday at Bhubaneswar station.
Kali Sethi, inspector in charge of the Bhubaneswar Railway Protection Force (RPF), said the defendants were arrested on the basis of smuggling intelligence.
“We had information that the two transgender people from Begunipada in Ganjam district were planning to travel to Surat on the Gandhidham Express with the smuggling shipment,” Sethi said.
Sethi further informed that a search operation was subsequently launched and that the two defendants were intercepted at the platform. During the searches, 16 kilograms of Ganja, the market value of which would be around Rs 1.5 lakh, were recovered in their luggage.
“Due to the strict law enforcement activities by the East Coast Railway to control the harassment of passengers by transgender people, it is suspected that the accused may have used such an illegal means to earn a living,” Sethi added. .