Five villagers leaders arrested in connection with Poppy cultivation, destroyed 330 acres Poppy in December

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Imphal: Manipur Police arrested five village leaders in December in connection with massive Poppy cultivation in hill areas of the state and destroyed poppy cultivation in 330 acres of forest land.

During the month of December, 2022, a combined team of Ukhrul district police, 6th MR, NAB and Forest department have carried out destruction of Poppy cultivated areas in Ukhrul district at different locations. On  December 3 and 7  poppy cultivation in more than 20 acres of cultivated areas at Ringui (Tungou) Hill Range were destroyed. On December 14 and 15 more than 20 acres of Poppy cultivated areas at Champhung Hill Range were destroyed, and on December 20 and 22 more than 40 acres of poppy cultivated areas at Champhung -Tora Hill Range were destroyed.

Efforts to identify the farmers/land owners and to caused the arrest of individuals involved in poppy plantation is underway, a government press release said.

On December 23 a combined team of Manipur Police comprising of personnel from Kangpokpi district police, MR, IRB and NAB conducted massive Poppy destruction in an area of about 30 acres on the western hill range of Selsi village, under Kangpokpi Police station. In continuation, another 25 acres of poppy plantation was destroyed on December 29.

In the destruction, seven huts used for keeping materials used in poppy cultivation including fertilizers, salt packets, herbicides, etc., were burnt along with the materials.

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On December 23 Kangpokpi district police teams alongwith NAB, Forest department, AR and SDO have destroyed about 10 acres of illicit Poppy cultivation in Molkon and Phulaijang hill range under Saikul PS, Kangpokpi district.

On December 24, Kangpokpi district police arrested two accused persons for plantation of poppy at western hill rangeof Selsi. The two arrested persons were Paokhomang Kipgen alias David, 41, son of late Jangkhohao Kipgen and Henkholun Kipgen alias Helun, 62, son of late Khohem Kipgen. They were secretary and vice-chairman of Selsi Village, Kangpokpi district.

On December 23, teams of Churachandpur District police and 1st IRB, led by the SP/CCP and CO 1st IRB in the presence of SDO, Tuibong conducted poppy destruction drive in the forest area of Thinghangjang Village, Churachandpur district and destroyed about 65 acres of Poppy cultivation. And later, the Chief of Thinghangjang, Kamkhosei Haokip, 48, son of late Otjathang Haokip of Songpi (at present) was arrested and produced before the CJM for further investigation.

On December 26, a team led by SP/Imphal East and SP/NAB along with Forest department and BSF conducted a Poppy destruction drive in N.P Khullen, B.Gamnom hill range and destroyed about 30 acres of poppy cultivation.

And on December 29, a combined team of Churachandpur District Administration and Churachandpur District Police and IRB led by Sharat Chandra Arroju, DC Churachandpur carried out destruction of illegal poppy cultivation at D.Lhangjol village areas, Churachandpur and destroyed about 15 acres of poppy cultivated area completely. Ten matured stems of poppy with pods and about 40 kg of fertilizers were also seized from the spot as evidence.

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Later on the same day chief of D Langjhol village, Letkholal Khongsai, 47, son of Jamkholet Khongshai was arrested from Tuibuong area.

On this day as part of continuation of destruction of Poppy plants at Hengshi area, a combined team of Chandel District Police, 8 MR and NAB led by ASP(OPS)/ CDL destroyed about 35 acres of poppy plants at Hengshi area, Chandel district.

The same day a combined team of Imphal East district police assisted by NAB, Forest department and BSF along with executive magistrate conducted Poppy destruction drive at Monglham hill range and destroyed poppy plants grown in an area of land measuring about 40 acres.

Later, the chief of Monglham village, Paojamang Haokip, 56, son of late Khaikholet Haokip of Kangpokpi district was arrested from Checkon Tribal Market. Necessary legal formalities are in progress, the release said.

“All the accused persons involved in plantations of Poppy will be charge under NDPS Act, PITNDPS Act and as well as Forest Act for destruction of Forest,” it said.

All village chiefs and villagers are appealed to inform the government authorities of any illegal poppy plantation in their villages and voluntarily destroyed such illegal poppy plantation before the harvesting of Opium, it added.

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Chief minister N.Biren Singh chaired a meeting with Assam Riffles, NIA, NCB, NAB, Police, and Home department to discuss issues and strategies of War on Drugs 2.0 at the Cabinet Hall of my secretariat on Thursday.

“We are joining forces to strengthen the War on Drugs campaign and leaving no stone unturned to root out this menace from the state. I urge the people of the state to cooperate and further extend support to the campaign with utmost seriousness and commitment. We must protect our youths from drugs and leave a better future for the coming generations,” Biren said.

He also a meeting on a project proposal of Horticulture and SC department for Alternative to Jhum and taking up Terrace Cultivation in Hill Areas in the presence of Horticulture and Soil Conservation minister Letpao Haokip, Forest, Environment and Climate Change, Agriculture, minister Th. Biswajit Singh and other officials.

“Deliberated on replacing illegal Poppy cultivation with high-quality value crops on Jhum areas on an integrated approach and bringing a permanent replacement of illegal poppy cultivation. Also discussed on developing a permanent farming system through the construction of terraces which will enhance the income of farmers and improve the economy of villagers,” Biren said.

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