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Police say rats ate 200kgs of bhang that was to be produced as evidence in court

 Despite saying in court that 200kgs of bhang had been consumed by rats, Indian police denied the claims. [File, Standard]

Police in India surprised many when they alleged that 200 kilogrammes of bhang that had been confiscated from criminals in the northern part of the country had been "eaten" by rats.

"Rats are small animals, and they aren't scared of the police," the police told a court in Mathura District, Uttar Pradesh State.

The 200kgs of bhang were to be produced in court as exhibit.

CNN reports the prosecution submitted that police said the rats might have consumed up to 700kgs of confiscated bhang.

The judge hearing the case said police were falsely blaming rats for destroying the evidence that had been stored at Shergarh and Highway Police Station.

"There's a rat menace in almost all police stations. Hence, necessary arrangements need to be made to safeguard the cannabis that's been confiscated," the officers maintained in their court submissions.

The area's senior police officers, however, said outside court that the bhang had been destroyed by rain, and not rats.

Mathura City Police Superintendent Martand Prakash Singh told CNN: "There was no reference to rats in the [report submitted to the court] ... the police only mentioned that the seized cannabis was destroyed in the rains and flooding."

In India, bhang remains prohibited under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

The government, however, encourages bhang cultivation for research.

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