Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Friday said that a total of 497 cases were registered and 703 people, including five village heads, were arrested in connection with poppy cultivation across the state in 2022.
“We will not compromise in cases relating to drugs and corruption,” Biren told mediapersons in Imphal and called upon poppy growers and their supporters to surrender to avoid police cases.
Legal action will be taken against all poppy farmers and those encouraging poppy cultivation in the state, he said.
“Those who come out voluntarily are welcome and will be excused and exempted from police cases but legal action will be initiated against those who farm poppy or encourage and support the plantation,” he said.
The chief minister said the area of poppy cultivation had been reduced to almost 90 per cent at present. The government identified a total of 6,742 acres under poppy cultivation across the state during the cropping season of 2021, he said.
And as many as 497 cases were registered, 703 arrested, including five village chiefs, in connection with poppy cultivation.
Biren also said that security forces have confiscated a large number of illicit drugs worth Rs 1,280 crore (international market) in 2022, which includes 560 kg of opium and heroin and 500 kg of brown sugar.
Following the approval of setting up state police outposts at the border areas by the Union government, the state government has started setting up 34 police outposts at border areas and six along the national highways to ensure the control of drugs and arms trafficking besides preventing the influx of illegal immigrants.
All the 40 police outposts will be functioning by February 2023, Biren assured.
With the involvement of the general public at community level, the War Against Drugs has become a ‘people’s movement’ and its going successfully, he said, adding that the government is also providing alternative livelihood to poppy growers.
Informing that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has planned a tour to the state on January 6, 2023, the chief minister said Amit Shah will be inaugurating various projects amounting to Rs 300 crore and lay the foundation stone for projects amounting to Rs1000 crore during his visit.
Highlighting some of the achievements of the state government over the last few years, including being conferred with the Best Improve Small State for a consecutive of three years, the chief minister gave the credit to the people of the state.
Biren wished the people of Manipur an advance New Year 2023 and called for peace, harmony and prosperity among all the people of Manipur.
The chief minister, who was accompanied by Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba, Health Minister S Ranjan and CAFPD Minister L Sushindro, also released a calendar of the directorate of Health and Family Welfare.