Consignment suspected of being smuggled into Bangladesh

In a major breakthrough, a joint team of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIP) of the RPF seized 160 kg of Kendu leaves from the Titlagarh-Howrah Ispat Express.

The sheets were packed in three separate wagons and the shipment consisted of 15 bundles. Police said he was suspected of being smuggled into Bangladesh. Acting on a tip-off, the team conducted a raid. During the operation, 15 bundles of Kendu leaves were recovered from car numbers D1, D2 and D3.

RPF Inspector, Tatanagar, Sanjay Kumar Tiwari said that CIP Inspector, Chakradharpur provided information that Kendu leaves were transported in trains to Bengal and then smuggled into Bangladesh.

“When we received the information, CIP Inspector Rambabu Singh led a team to Tatan and carried out a search operation from the Ispat Express to Tatanagar, with the assistance of RPF personnel here,” Tiwari said. at a press conference here today.

The RPF inspector said that although unauthorized bundles of Kendu leaves were seized but no one could be caught. He said whoever was smuggling the consignment must have been on the train but did not appear before the raiding parties.

Tiwari said that since the issue of Kendu leaves is a concern of the forest department, they will hand over the seized consignment to the relevant department.

Kendu leaf is used for making ‘bidi’ which is widely consumed in Bangladesh. “Beedi smokers are also found in Bengal and other states of the country, but in Bangladesh the number of Beedi smokers is huge. Since kendu leaves are an integral part of making beedi, several traders tend to smuggle this item from Odisha and also from Jharkhand,” the RPF inspector said.

During the investigation of the incident, it emerged that the accused was smuggling kendu leaves from different parts of Odisha to West Bengal by road and rail. They sold the leaves to unlicensed beedi makers, mainly in West Bengal.

Kendu leaf is called the green gold of Odisha. It is a nationalized product like bamboo and salt seeds. It is one of the most important non-timber forest products in Odisha. The leaves are used to wrap beedis, a popular smoke among locals.

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