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India police say rats ate 200kg of seized cannabis

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Police in India have blamed rats for destroying nearly 200kg (440lbs) of cannabis seized from pedlars and kept in police stations.

“Rats are tiny animals and they have no fear of the police. It’s difficult to protect the drug from them,” a court in Uttar Pradesh state has said.

The court had asked the police to produce the stash as evidence in cases of drug peddling.

The judge cited three cases in which marijuana was destroyed by rodents.

Judge Sanjay Chaudhary said in an order that when the court asked the police to produce the seized drug as evidence, it was told that 195kg of cannabis had been “destroyed” by rats.

In another case involving 386kg of the drug, the police filed a report saying “some” of the cannabis was “eaten up by the rats”.

Judge Chaudhary said some 700kg of marijuana seized by the police was lying in police stations in Mathura district and that “all of it was under danger of infestation by rats”.

He said the police had no expertise in dealing with the matter as the rats were “too small”. The only way to protect the seized goods from “such fearless mice”, he added, was to auction the drugs to research labs and medicine firms, with the proceeds going to the government.

MP Singh, a senior police official of Mathura district, told reporters that some of the marijuana stored in police stations under his vicinity had been “damaged due to heavy rains” and not destroyed by rats.

In 2018, eight Argentinian police officers were fired after they blamed mice for the disappearance of half a ton of cannabis from a police warehouse. But experts disputed the claim, saying that the animals were unlikely to confuse the drug for food and “if a large group of mice had eaten it, a lot of corpses would have been found in the warehouse”.

A study published in 2019 found that when laboratory rats were given cannabis-laced dough, they “tended to become less active and their body temperature also was lowered”.

In 2017, police in the eastern state of Bihar had blamed rats for consuming thousands of litres of confiscated alcohol, a year after the state banned the sale and consumption of alcohol.

In 2018, technicians who arrived to fix a malfunctioning cash machine in the state of Assam found that currency notes worth more than 1.2m rupees ($14,691; £12,143) had been shredded – and the suspected culprits were rats.

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SL over 60s cricket team ranked 4th in the world

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The Sri Lanka Over-60s cricket team, led by Garry Gunasekara, achieved a commendable 4th place in the recently concluded Over-60s Cricket World Cup in Chennai. 

Twelve teams, including all major cricketing nations except Pakistan and Bangladesh, participated in the tournament.

In the group league stages, Sri Lanka secured victories against India, Wales, and the Rest of the World. 

They also tied with the West Indies and suffered their only defeat to Australia, finishing 2nd in the group. 

Sri Lanka faced England in the first semi-final, resulting in a loss, while New Zealand lost to Australia in the second semi-final. Australia went on to convincingly win the final against England.

In the third-place match, Sri Lanka faced New Zealand and narrowly lost by 20 runs, ultimately securing the 4th position in the Over-60s Cricket World Cup.

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Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrested

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The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested Additional Secretary of the Health Ministry Dr. Saman Ratnayake over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin injections.

The arrest was made after Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrived at the CID to provide a statement.

Several key individuals including former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Former Health Secretary, the Medical Supplies Division Director are currently in remand custody over the Immunoglobulin scandal.

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Dickwella replaces Kusal in SL T20 Squad

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The Cricket Selection Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket has announced Niroshan Dickwella as the replacement for Kusal Janith Perera in the upcoming Twenty20 International (T20I) Series against Bangladesh.

The series is scheduled to commence on Monday in Sylhet.

Kusal Janith Perera, originally included in the T20I squad, will miss the series due to a respiratory infection.

Perera did not join the team on their departure to Bangladesh on Thursday. 

In light of his absence, Niroshan Dickwella has been named as the replacement and is expected to join the team ahead of the first T20I match at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet.

The T20I series against Bangladesh consists of three matches, with the second and third T20Is scheduled for March 6 and 9, respectively, at the same venue.

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