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Mass Destruction of Poppy Cultivation intensifies

by Rinku Khumukcham
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IT News
Imphal, Jan 22:

Mass destruction of Poppy Plants has been intensified at various hill districts by state government machineries as a part of the ‘War on Drug’ campaign launched by the State Government.
After mass poppy cultivation is being destroyed by concern state machineries at Kangpokpi and Chandel district a team of Forest Department officials conducted special operations against illegal poppy cultivation in forest areas on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday January 20, 2023, about 25 ha of illegal poppy cultivated in Churachandpur district’s Teising, Thangjing hill, Churachandpur Khoupum Protected Forests (24°24’8087″N 93°38’9502″E) has been destroyed by joint teams of 141 personnels led by RO/ Henglep & RO/ Sagang Churachandpur Forest Division, Inspector/ Churachandpur Police, ASI NAB, Subedar 1st IRB, AC and JCO 2nd IRB, ASI NAB and a FIR case has been registered accordingly.
Similarly, Kangpokpi Forest Division, Senapati Forest Division and Kangpokpi Police, destroyed 16 ha illegal poppy cultivation at T Khonomphai Village 25°6’07.1″N 93°49’05.0″E, Champhai SubDivision, Kangchup Leimakhong Irang PF; and Kangpokpi Forest Division, Central Forest Division and District Police destroyed 3 ha at Aigejang Village, Khameklok Gwaltabi RF under Kangpokpi Forest Division and a FIR case has been registered. Jamthang Haokip (54) S/o (L) Jamkhotong Haokip of Lhangsom Village under Saikhul PS, Kangpokpi was arrested for poppy cultivation based on FIR filed in connection to the poppy plantation destruction conducted on January 17 & 18, 2023. Further, under Noney Forest Division, 1 acre of poppy cultivation has been destroyed at Longpi village, Unclassed Forest by a joint team of Noney Forest Division, District Police, 39 Assam Rifles and Rongmei Naga Students Organisation; a FIR case has been registered ; Thangnetzar Gangte has been arrested from Longpi village in this connection.
On January 21, 2023, a joint team of Kangpokpi Forest Division, Senapati Forest Division and District Police Kangpokpi destroyed 15 ha of illegal poppy cultivation in the hill ranges of T Khonomphai, 25° 06′ 07.1″N 93° 49’05.0″E, under Kangchup Leimakhong Irang Protected Forest, Champhai Sub-Division of Kangpokpi District; and Kangpokpi Forest Division, and District Police Kangpokpi destroyed destroyed 11 ha of poppy cultivation at Puleijang village under Imphal Iril Protected Forest, Kangpoki and a FIR has been registered. Under
Churachandpur Forest Division, a combined team of 148 led by RO/ Churachandpur & RO/ Sagang of Churachandpur Forest Division, led by Inspector/ Churachandpur Police, led by AC 1st IRB, led by AC and JCO 2nd IRB, led by ASI NAB, led by Asst. Narcotics Commissioner of India CBN destroyed 60 ha of Poppy cultivation at Haopi Mollen 24°13’33.67’N 93°44’46.77’E Unclassed Forests; FIR Case has been registered. Under Ukhrul Forest Division, 40 personnel of Phungcham Youth Volunteers led by Phungchum Headman, Ukhrul Forest Division led by RO Jessami, Ukhrul Police led by Chingai SDPO destroyed 20 ha of poppy cultivation at Phungcham village, Ukhrul.
During these operations, a total area of 195.805 ha of poppy plantation has been destroyed. Huts and articles used in cultivation of poppy such as fertilizers, salt packets, herbicides, etc were burnt and destroyed. A total of 471.665 ha of poppy plantation has been destroyed since 16.1.2023.
Forest Department will continue these intensive operations in concerned Forest Divisions and will carry out operations in other Forest Divisions also wherever poppy cultivation is detected by involving all law enforcing Departments. POR/FIR will continue to be registered as per relevant Acts/ Rules for taking up illegal poppy plantations in Forest areas against persons responsible. Further, stern legal and punitive action will follow up. Altogether, 14 (fourteen) FIRs have been filed against village Chiefs/ Cultivators/unknown persons since January 16, 2023.
Illicit poppy cultivation in forest areas violates provisions of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985. The use of forest land for non-forest purpose violates the provision of Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, the Indian Forest Act 1927 and The Manipur Forest Rules 2021. Poppy plantation have been found inside notified forest areas which is a clear violation of the Acts/ Rules governing the Forests.
Deforestation and degradation due to poppy cultivation on vast tract of forests has become one of the major causes for deforestation and degradation of forest in the State. Forest Department, therefore, again makes an earnest appeal to all local communities / Village Chiefs to refrain from indulging in poppy cultivation and join hands in the ‘War on Drugs’ Campaign to eradicate poppy cultivation in the forest areas as well as protect the forests.

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