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Police officer accused of releasing seized car with smuggled betel nut at Dharmanagar

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BY TC News Desk

Agartala, 26th October 2023:    A police officer in Dharmanagar, Tripura, has been accused of releasing a car loaded with smuggled Burmese betel nut without informing the customs department. The car was seized by the police on Tuesday night after locals reported seeing it parked in Rajbari area of Dharmanagar.

According to sources, SI Prittimoy Chakma of Dharmanagar police station searched the car and found the banned Burmese betel nut or “Rota” inside it. He told the reporters that the car would be handed over to the customs department in the morning with a case. However, on Wednesday morning, he allegedly changed his statement and released the car to the driver. He also claimed that he had received orders from Sub-Divisional Police Officer Debasish Saha to do so.

When contacted by phone, Debasish Saha denied that the betel nut was smuggled from Burma and said that it was locally produced. He also refused to comment on why he ordered the release of the car. The journalists who tried to meet him at his office could not find him there and he was unreachable by phone.

The incident has raised suspicions that some senior police officers are involved in the smuggling of Burmese betel nut, which is illegal in India. Sources said that since Debasish Saha took charge as the SDPO of Dharmanagar, there has been an increase in anti-social activities such as liquor business and drug trafficking in the area.

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