Imphal: Amidst reports of continuing illegal drug trafficking in the State, the Manipur Government has escalated its ongoing ‘war on drugs’ campaign with a decision to use chemicals to destroy poppy plantations and bring a permanent solution to the drug menace.
The decision to destroy all poppy plantation fields using drone technology was taken during a meeting held at the Cabinet Hall of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat on the ongoing War on Drugs 2.0 on December 29.
The meeting attended by concerned Ministers and officials of the State Government also discussed replacing illegal poppy cultivation with high-quality value crops in Jhum areas on an integrated approach and decided to permanently replace unlawful poppy cultivation in the State.
The Government is also working on making Manipur a Zero Poppy Cultivation State by providing financial and technical assistance to farmers in alternative farming and enhancing their income in the hill districts where the flowering plant is illegally cultivated on a large scale.
The Chief Minister, in a separate meeting with Assam Riffles, NIA, NCB, NAB, Police, and Home Department, chalked out strategies to root out the menace of drug abuse.
Senapati District police have destroyed 567 acres of poppy plantation fields in 2019-2022, 390 acres in 2022-2021 and 330 acres in 2021-2022. Out of the notified 20 villages under the Senapati District, 19 have stopped planting poppies and shifted to vegetables this year
“We are joining forces to strengthen the War on Drugs campaign and leaving no stone unturned to root out this menace from the state. I urge the state’s people to cooperate and further extend support to the campaign with utmost seriousness and commitment. We must protect our youths from drugs and leave a better future for the coming generations,” informed Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
The Chief Minister launched the war on drugs on November 3, 2018, to fight against the menace of drug abuse. Since then, the Government has been destroying poppy plantation fields and arresting illegal cultivators and drug traffickers.
Senapati District police have destroyed 567 acres of poppy plantation fields in 2019-2022, 390 acres in 2022-2021 and 330 acres in 2021-2022. Out of the notified 20 villages under the Senapati District, 19 have stopped planting poppies and shifted to vegetables this year. The remaining portion of the district’s poppy cultivation area, measuring (60 acres) at Chalaha Hill Range, was destroyed recently. The community has achieved the target of Zero Poppy Cultivation.
The Kamjong Police also has the same success story of dealing with drugs and destroying the illegal poppy plantation. The district police have destroyed 239.8 acres of criminal poppy plantation fields.
In another district, the war on drugs intensifies with the mass destruction of illegal poppy plantations. A poppy plantation of around 25 acres was destroyed on December 29 by a joint team of State Police, AR, NAB, Forest and District Administration at Selsi Village, Kangpokpi District.
Notably, the arrest of Paojamang Haokip (56), the Village Chief of Monglham village, will send a strong message to other village chiefs of tribal areas who secretly allow the plantation of the illegal flowering plant.
The Government has also installed the Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy machines, which can identify unwanted narcotics substances and detect the quality of different drugs at Manipur Forensic Science Laboratory.