In a turbulent turn of events, a team of Tripura security personnel faced a violent attack upon their return from an operation aimed at eradicating 60,000 cannabis plants in West Tripura district on December 14 evening.
The incident unfolded in the Panchabati area of Sidhai Mohanpur village, leaving five members of the Tripura police and the Tripura State Rifles injured after being assaulted with bricks and stones on December 14 evening, as confirmed by local authorities.
The security team had strategically parked their vehicles at a distance from the cannabis farm in Panchabati. Upon completion of the operation, they encountered the first wave of attacks by a group of individuals wielding stones. Subsequently, a second group targeted the police vehicles, escalating the clash.
The injured personnel received prompt medical attention and were discharged from the hospital, according to an official statement from the police headquarters in Agartala. A case has been registered, and an investigation is underway to identify the attackers responsible for the assault.
This incident sheds light on the challenges faced by law enforcement in Tripura as they actively combat illegal drug activities. This year alone, authorities have destroyed approximately 2.8 million cannabis plants, amounting to an estimated damage of Rs 140 crore to the illicit drug economy in the State. Sepahijala district, with its extensive international border with Bangladesh, has been a focal point for these operations, particularly due to the absence of fencing in certain border areas owing to local disputes.
Since assuming power in 2018, the BJP-led Government has consistently emphasised a rigorous crackdown on drugs and the illegal drug trade. Despite these efforts, Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha acknowledged a recent surge in drug-related activities. Manik Saha highlighted concerns about Tripura serving as a corridor for the drug trade, positioning the State at the forefront in the North East region for illegal drug seizure and destruction.
As authorities work to address the rise in drug-related incidents, the clash underscores the complexities and risks associated with enforcing drug control measures in the region. The investigation into the recent attack on security personnel will be crucial in maintaining law and order while upholding the State’s commitment to curbing illicit drug activities.