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Senapati ASP warns poppy cultivators

Source: Chronicle News Service

 

Senapati, November 18 2021: Naga People's Organization (NPO) and Senapati district police jointly organised a one-day awareness programme on 'Illegal cultivation of Poppy in Senapati district' at DRDA hall, Senapati on Thursday.

Additional SP (L/O) Senapati Tholu Rocky, who spoke on the topic 'Cultivation of poppy: legal perspective' as a resource person of the awareness programme' said that Senapati district police takes poppy cultivation in the district seriously in line with legal perspective and cautioned that poppy cultivators in the district would be arrested from this year as the law empowers the police on the matter.

If poppy cultivators happen to be absconding, then the landowner and the village leaders concerned would be arrested, he announced.

He pointed out that Section 46 of NDPS Act 1985 says that every holder of land shall give immediate information to any officer of police or any of the department mentioned in section 42 (excise, narcotics, customs, revenue, intelligence or any department of the central government including paramilitary forces and armed forces) of all poppy, cannabis, cocoa plant which may be illegally cultivating within a land and every such land holder who knowingly neglects to give such information shall be liable to face punitive action.

Rocky also highlighted the various legal perspectives on cultivation of poppy under the NDPS Act-1985 which includes rigorous imprisonment for 10-20 years and fine in the range of Rs 1-2 lakh and repeat offence would face death penalty in some cases.

SP (Narcotics and Affairs of Border) K Meghachandra Singh, in his address, spoke on ill-effects of illegal poppy cultivation and said that drug trafficking scenario in Manipur is largely attributed to various external and internal factors.

The prime external factor happens to be Manipur's close proximity to the major opium producing regions of South East Asia known as the 'Golden triangular' while the major internal factors responsible are illicit cultivation of poppy and cannabis and illicit production in interior areas, he added.

The SP (NAB) disclosed that there are reports of large scale cultivation of poppy and cannabis in remote and interior areas of Chandel, Churachandpur, Senapati, Kangpokpi, Ukhrul, Tengnoupal, Imphal East, Kakching, Bishnupur and Kamjong districts.

Solution to the prevailing drug situation in Manipur can be found in the recently approved.

'Manipur State Policy on Psychoactive Substances, 2019' and published in Manipur Gazette on December 21, 2020, he said and shared various ill consequences of poppy cultivation in the state.

He also highlighted to the gathering that poppy cultivation in Manipur during 2019-2020 was in 2285.5 acres and 4634.4 acres in 2020-2021 while in Senapati district it was 320 acres in 2019-2020 and 565 acres in 2020-2021 .

DFO Senapati D John Sha also spoke on the topic 'Cultivation of poppy and its negative environmental impact' and said that three major negative environmental impacts of poppy cultivation are deforestation, loss of biodiversity and impact on soil and water.

Highlighting the importance of forest, Sha said that forests are one of the Earth's greatest natural resources and key to supporting life on Earth and home to 80 percent of the world's land-based biodiversity.

Medical plants worth billions of Dollars are harvested from tropical forests every year, he said.

On deforestation, he said that the immediate biggest consequence will be water crisis as there is no substitute for water and there would be lots of fights between countries, states, villages and communities due to water crisis.

On loss of biodiversity, the DFO said that poppy cultivation usually is done after clearing trees so it destroys many biodiversity like trees, medical plants, wild vegetables, essential micro-organisms and wildlife.

NPO president Solomon Arow, in his welcome note, stated that NPO presidential council meeting in 2018 had resolved to ban poppy cultivation in the district and reaffirmed the same in 2021.The programme was attended by NPO, SDSA, SDWA, SP Senapati, police personnel, tribe leaders of the district and others.