Manipur Chief Minister N Biren on Saturday said arrested village heads disclosed that some militants who are under Suspension of Operation (SoO) are involved in poppy cultivation and collecting tax from poppy cultivators.
“Before, it was just information but now it is confirmed after thorough investigation”, said Biren and added that as the investigation is under process, he will not reveal the militant group’s name.
Speaking to the media at the INA Memorial Complex, Biren reiterated the union home minister, Amit Shah’s appreciation of the state government’s ‘War on Drugs Campaign’ and the alternative crop plantation initiatives taken up by the government.
CM Biren informed that the state government came to know about the cultivation of poppy under pressure and collection of tax by some militant outfits under Suspension of Operation, as revealed by two village chiefs arrested by the police.
Biren said that the village chairman Henkholun Kipgen and village secretary David Kipgen of Selsi village of Kangpokpi district, who were arrested, disclosed SoO militant’s pressure for poppy cultivation and collection of tax from them.
Similarly, Churachandpur district conducted a drive under leadership of CCpur SP and arrested a village chairman, Kamsai Haokip of Thingangjang village.
Now, the poppy plantation is under an area of hillside, hidden from eyewitnesses. However, the drive is continuing, using drone surveys in different places of hills, Biren said.
CM Biren again appealed to the people who are cultivating poppy to stop immediately or else the action according to Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) Act will coordinate. He even stated that under the act the government can confiscate even the property of drug dealers and poppy planters, so the government does not want to go that far.
CM Biren also mentioned that the state government had been providing awareness to different villages in hill areas regarding the ill effects of poppy plantations and the alternative livelihood measures taken up by the Government
CM Biren visited the Sangai Ethnic Park at Moirang Khunou and inspected the development works taken up there prior to the G20 event which will be held in Manipur from February 16 to 18, 2023.
CM Biren said that the union home minister to the state is likely to visit Manipur in January. Therefore, the state government requested the union minister to hoist the 165 feet high Indian National Flag, which is being installed inside the INA Memorial complex. A memorial site for 185 soldiers who joined the Indian National Army to liberate India from the British will develop and it will be inaugurated by the union minister during his visit, he added.
“A session with G20 summit 2023 will be held in Manipur”, said Biren and he added that many representatives from different countries will also visit Loktak, Sangai Ethnic Park and others, during their G20 summit visit in Manipur.
He also informed that the grand finale of Femina Miss India would be held at the Sangai Ethnic Park in the first week of April, 2023. He continued that he had visited the park to see the progress of the development and to ensure its completion before the G20 session.