At least 50 people, including two former corporators, have been arrested for allegedly indulging in gambling in Odisha's Ganjam district ahead of the festival of ''Kumar Purnima'', the police said on Friday.
While 15 persons were arrested in a special operation from a house at Bhimarao Peta street in Berhampur city early on Friday, 35 others were held in Aska area of the district on Thursday night, the police said.
The 15 arrested include two former corporators of Berhampur Municipal Corporation, a bank manager, a school teacher and an advocate, they said.
Over Rs 7.6 lakh in cash, five motorcycles, 16 mobile phones and playing cards have been seized during a crackdown on the gambling racket in Ganjam district, said Berhampur sub-divisional police officer BP Pati.
Acting on a tip off, a police team raided a house where gambling was on early in the morning. All the arrested persons were booked under relevant sections of Orissa Preventation of Gambling Act (OPGA), said Inspector in-charge of Town Police Station, SK Tripathy.
One of the arrested ex-corporators is also a member of ''Aam Police'' - a community policing system, Tripathy said adding We will remove him from the Aam Police Samiti.
In a special drive against gambling, police detected four dens in Aska police station limits on Thursday night, arrested 35 gamblers and seized around Rs 64,000, said the IIC of Aska police station, PK Sahoo.
Meanwhile, Ganjam superintendent of police Brijesh Kumar Rai has suspended a police constable of Buguda police station on Thursday after a video showing him indulging in gambling went viral in the social media.
Gambling is a common phenomenon in the district every year in the run up to Kumar Purnima, the festival of youth, which is slated to be celebrated on Sunday this time.
Police said the crackdown on gambling dens was being intensified.
"We have instructed our officers and personnel to carry out special drives against gambling across the district," the SP said.