SoO agreement will be withdrawn if outfits involve in Poppy cultivation: Biren


Imphal: Manipur government will not compromise with any drug related issues, suspension of operation (SoO) agreement with underground outfits under SoO will be withdrawn if found involved in poppy cultivation, chief minister N. Biren Singh said on the Assembly floor on Saturday during the ongoing 3rd session of 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.

Biren said this responding to the policy cut motion raised by opposition MLA Surjakumar Okram on the demand, ‘Police’ moved by leader of the House.

Surjakumar raised the motion for disapproval of policy cut motion on account of inadequate budgetary provision for War on Drugs campaign especially for poppy destruction.

Leader of the House, Biren, who is also home minister of the state said after completion of 34 police out posts erected at the border areas of Manipur, the state police can prevent 80-90 per cent drugs imported inside the state through the porous border.

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He said the government has been providing adequate assistance on alternative to poppy cultivation. The government will not consider the demand for compensation for destruction of poppy cultivation.

Poppy plants are cultivated in the remote hilly areas of the state by some people intentionally to attack the society. The government made SoO agreement with underground outfits to bring peace but if the SoO underground outfits are found involved in poppy cultivation then there is no need to continue the SoO agreement,  Biren said.

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The government will consider it as indirect attack to the society with help of drugs. At such circumstances necessary steps including withdrawing SoO agreement may be taken up, he added.

He assured the House that in the coming crop season (Poppy cultivation) over 10 per cent of poppy cannot be harvested and the government is continuing on destruction of poppy cultivations. With the help of satellite images and drones the government is continuing identification of illegal poppy plantations in the remote areas. The government is also using drones for spraying of herbicides to destroy poppy plants.

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Biren said the herbicides which is used while destructing poppy cultivation is recommended from the experts which has minimum side effect to the people and environment.

He said the state government is providing alternative crops of poppy cultivation and appealed the people not to put conditions on alternative cropping against poppy cultivation.

Poppy cultivation is permitted in three states of India – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, in 22 districts. The NDPS Act empowers the central government to permit and regulate cultivation of opium poppy for medical and scientific purposes.


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