A 14-member police team that entered the Attappadi forest in Palakkad district of Kerala to raid a cannabis cultivation site got lost on their way back and had to spend the night in the woods. The team, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police S Jayakrishnan, was rescued early on Wednesday morning by a rapid response team of the forest department.
The police team had received information about a cannabis cultivation site in the forest near the Bhavani river, adjacent to some tribal hamlets. They set out on the mission on Tuesday morning from Gottiyarkandi, with the assistance of five forest officials.
The team reached the cannabis site and destroyed the plants, but the operation took longer than expected and it got dark by the time they started their return journey. The team lost their way in the dense forest and could not find the exit route.
Police team managed to contact forest department for help
The police team faced several challenges in the forest, such as wild animals, rough terrain, and lack of mobile network. However, they managed to get a signal on one of their phones and contacted the forest department for help.
The forest department immediately dispatched a 12-member rapid response team (RRT) to locate and rescue the police team. The RRT used GPS and torch lights to track down the police team, who were stranded on some rocks in the forest.
The RRT reached the police team around midnight and provided them with food and water. They also secured them with ropes and harnesses and guided them out of the forest. The rescue operation was completed by 6 am on Wednesday.
Police team brought back to safety, no injuries reported
The police team was brought back to safety and taken to a nearby hospital for a check-up. No injuries or health issues were reported among the team members. The team expressed their gratitude to the forest department for their timely and efficient rescue.
The police team also said that they had successfully completed their mission of destroying the cannabis cultivation site, which was spread over an area of about one acre. They said that they had seized about 50 kg of cannabis from the site, which was worth about Rs 25 lakh.
The police team also said that they would continue their efforts to curb the illegal cultivation and trafficking of cannabis in the forest areas, and appealed to the public to inform them of any such activities.
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