Sunday, February 5, 2023

9 arrested in Manipur for poppy cultivation

Correspondent

In a major breakthrough, police arrested alleged nine poppy cultivators including chairman of a village authority in a night raid at poppy fields in Manipur’s Senapati district.
Manipur police along with other pertinent government agencies have been conducting a special drive against illicit poppy cultivation in hill districts of the state.
As many as six chiefs of villages were arrested on the charge of poppy cultivation in their respective village jurisdiction.
Taking a step forward, a team of police in Senapati district conducted late night raids at the poppy fields and arrested eight poppy cultivators. They also arrested the chairman of the village authority within the jurisdiction of Khabung village, where the poppy fields were discovered in the hill ranges said additional SP ML Kaisungbou of Senapati district police on Tuesday.
The arrested persons were identified as Milan Gole Tameng (29), Dasing Tamang (38), Manbahadur Tameng (52), Kumar (29), Krishna Kumar (33), Pashang Tameng (50), AjitGole (29) and Sombahadur (22).
He said that a team of district police raided the huts at the poppy fields in the early hours of Tuesday, around 1.30 am after information collected from various sources confirmed the presence of the poppy cultivators.
Poppy plants were found cultivated on over 60 acres of field in the hill range on the eastern side of the village, the additional SP said.
Earlier on December 23, the district police along with other government agencies had destroyed poppy plants on over 20 acres of fields.
No poppy cultivator could be arrested in the drive as they had already left the fields on seeing the police approaching. Since then, the police have been keeping a close watch on the movement of the poppy cultivators, he said.
Towards this end, the district police under the supervision of SP Karthik Malladi with close coordination with district administration and forest department had even conducted an advance field survey three times across the district.
When they came across fields being prepared for growing poppy, the police had given strong warning to authorities of 19 villages not to carry out the illegal practice, he said.
In the ongoing intensified drive against poppy cultivation, the state police had arrested as many as six village chiefs in Kangpokpi, Churachandpur and Chandel districts.
On the other hand, a combined team of police, forest staff on Tuesday destroyed illegally cultivated poppy on around 20.5 hectares of fields in the hill ranges of T Khullen and Lhangsom villages under Saikul sub-division of Kangpokpi district, an official source said.
The combined team destroyed poppy plants on over 3.5 hectares in T Khullen and over 17 hectares at Lhangsom hill ranges. Along with poppy plants, illegally erected huts and items found in the huts used in poppy cultivation were also destroyed, the source added.

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