When Kerala Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh faced journalists at Kozhikode, an eager 'journo' shot a few specific questions to him on drug peddling. Most of the queries were on why the law is soft on peddlers and what is the maximum penalty if caught for ganja trafficking.
Singh, who was on his first visit to the district after assuming office as Excise Commissioner, explained to him that there are stringent provisions against ganja peddling. But the journalist had more doubts than questions. He also felt that the penalty for ganja peddling is very light.
"We are giving penalty based on the legislation made in 1985. Punishments provided under the provisions of this Act are not minor ones. There are stringent punishments as well," Singh replied.
Though the commissioner gave answers, the 'journalist' repeated his questions, and it was then that the fellow reporters got curious about him. After the press conference, the journalists confronted the stranger among them and discovered that he was a drug peddler and had been caught twice with ganja.
After being exposed, he boasted that he had been fined twice and that once he told the magistrate that he carried the stuff for his own use.
When Singh came to know about the matter he ordered to take the man, identified as Ashraf, into custody. Later the police took Ashraf, alias Pavada Basheer. Ashraf had entered the conference hall in the guise of a television journalist.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:40 PM