Several poppy fields over large areas in hill districts of Manipur were destroyed in December by a combined team of security forces.
According to a release, a combined team of Manipur police comprising personnel from Kangpokpi district police, MR, IRB and NAB on December 23 conducted a massive poppy destruction in an area of about 30 acres on the western hill range of Selsi village under the Kangpokpi police station.
The same day, the Kangpokpi police team along with NAB, Forest department, AR and SDO destroyed about 10 acres of illicit poppy cultivation in the Molkon and Phulaijang hill range under the Saikul police station.
“On December 23 a team of Churachandpur police and 1st IRB, led by the Churachandpur SP and CO of 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 cultivated areas. And later, the chief of Thinghangjang Village, namely, Kamkhosei Haokip, 48, son of late Otjathang Haokip from Songpi (AP) was arrested and produced before the CJM for further investigation,” it added.
On December 24, the Kangpokpi police arrested two individuals for being involved in the plantation of poppy at the western hill range of Selsi Village namely, Selsi Village secretary Paokhomang Kipgen alias David, 41, son of late Jangkhohao Kipgen and Selsi Village vice chairman Henkholun Kipgen alias Helun, 62, son of late Khohem Kipgen, the release stated.
On December 26, a team of Imphal east SP and NAB SP along with the Forest department and BSF on December 26 conducted a poppy destruction drive in NP Khullen, B Gamnom hill range and destroyed about 30 acres of poppy cultivation in the area, it maintained.
In continuation of the initiative, another 25 acres of the poppy plantation was destroyed on December 29 in which seven huts used for keeping materials used in poppy cultivation including fertilizers, salt packets and herbicides were burnt along with the materials, it stated.
Also Read: Drug cartels in Manipur
It also stated that during December, a combined team of Ukhrul police, 6th MR, NAB and Forest department carried out destruction of poppy cultivations in Ukhrul district including Ringui (Tungou) Hill Range, Champhung Hill Range and Champhung Tora Hill Range.
Efforts to identify the farmers/land owners and to cause the arrest of individuals involved in the poppy plantations are underway, it mentioned.
The same day a combined team of Churachandpur district administration and Churachandpur police and IRB led by Churachandpur DC Sharat Chandra Arroju on Thursday carried out the destruction of illegal poppy cultivation at D Lhangjol Village areas in Churachandpur and destroyed about 15 acres of poppy cultivated area, the release stated.
The team also seized 10 matured stems of poppy with pods along with about 40 kg of fertilizers from the spot and apprehended D Langjhol village chief Letkholal Khongsai, 47, son of Jamkholet Khongshai from the Tuibuong area, it stated.
“On Thursday, a team of Chandel police, 8 MR and NAB led by Chandel ASP (OPS) destroyed about 35 acres of poppy Hengshi area in Chandel district and 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.
The team destroyed about 40 acres of poppy plants and apprehended the Monglham Village chief Paojamang Haokip, 56, son of late Khaikholet Haokip from Kangpokpi District. Necessary legal formalities are in progress,” the release stated.
It also appealed to the village chiefs and villagers to inform the government authorities of any illegal poppy plantations in their villages and to voluntarily destroy such illegal plantations before the harvesting of opium.