Rats ate 581kg of marijuana worth $73,000, police told the Indian court

Police in the town of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, alleged that rats “ate” 581kg of marijuana that was confiscated and stored in warehouses at Shergarh in the state’s Bareilly district. The startlingly bizarre claim came after a special court – under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1985) – ordered Mathura police to turn over marijuana seized in a case registered under the NDPS Act.

The additional district judge then ordered Abhishek Yadav, Senior Superintendent of Police, Mathura to eliminate the “mouse threat” and produce evidence that rats actually consumed 581 kg of marijuana worth 60 lakh or US$73,474.

Mice aren’t afraid of the police, officers tell the judge

The court issued five point instructions for the auction/disposal of weed stored in police camps.

“Time-bound actions will be taken in accordance with court orders,” Acting Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Mathura, Martand P Singh said in a statement.

Special Prosecutor Ranveer Singh said: “The SHOs from Shergarh and Highway Police Stations have claimed that 581kg of weed stored in warehouses was destroyed by the rats. The cops found it impossible to protect the substances stored in the said storage areas. The court has ordered the police to present evidence to support the allegation and has set November 26 as the next hearing date.

The court referred to a case in which 1,200 pounds (581 kg) of salvaged weed was destroyed by the rats in its Nov. 18 order, according to the court’s government prosecutor.

“Upon court advice, the Mathura SSP directed the CO refinery to conduct an investigation, but the weed was not recovered,” the court order said.

Mathura Police said in their clarification to the court: “Because rats are small, they are not afraid of the police. SHOs cannot be experts at solving every problem.”

In May 2020, three men were arrested in Mathura for smuggling weed in a truck. The truck was intercepted near the village of Jatwari in the Shergarh area and 386kg of weed hidden in hirsacks was recovered from the vehicle. The three defendants were charged under the NDPS Act and taken into judicial custody.

The court ordered the police to produce the weed seized in the case. Shergarh SHO told the court that “rats ate the grass” which was sealed in packets and stored in the warehouse.

“There is no safe place in the police station to store the ‘maal’ (seized marijuana) and protect it from rats,” the SHO had said.

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