Manipur CM Biren Singh declares war on drug; replaces poppy cultivation with lemongrass
Manipur has been witnessing unprecedented high incidence of drug trafficking and addiction in recent past. In a bid to tackle the menace, the Biren Singh government has declared war on drugs, and initiated several programmes, including rehabilitation of poppy growers with lemongrass cultivation.
The chief minister, speaking to reporters, said that the state government along with the security forces is working on projects to curb the increasing incidence of drug addiction and strict action will be taken against drug peddlers. As many as 600 peddlers were arrested this year and fast track courts have been set up to try the accused persons, he said.
“Thousands of hectares of land are used for poppy cultivation in areas near the international border with Myanmar… We are taking help of the Army and Assam Rifles to root out the cultivation of poppy in Manipur… and poppy growers are being rehabilitated with lemongrass cultivation,” the chief minister told reporters in Imphal.
Manipur, which borders the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia—infamous for drug trafficking, has been facing the drug menace for decades.
“Thousands of hectares of land are used for poppy cultivation in areas near the international border with Myanmar,” Singh said, adding that the poppy grown in Manipur is being exported to other countries via the Golden Triangle.
Biren said that at Lilong in Thoubal district, drug peddlars were caught and the seized drugs were burnt.
“The happy news is people are getting involved in countering drug peddling,” Singh said.
The All Lilong Anti-Drug Association (ALADA) has identified 2,000 drug users and helped in recovering drugs worth over Rs 6 crore since it was set up in July 2017, its tribe secretary Abid Hussain said.
Drugs like spasmoproxival, N10 come from within the country, while heroin and World is Yours (WY) are being trafficked from Myanmar.
“These drugs are widely used in Manipur and other states in the Northeast,” Hussain told reporters, adding that poverty, unemployment problem and easy access of drugs lead to the high number of drug addicts in the state.
(With inputs from agencies)