Over 700 illegal poppy farmers arrested in the Manipur-Myanmar bordertext_fields
Guwahati: In a drive against drugs launched by the Manipur government, massive illegal poppy cultivation was seized at the border with Myanmar. A total of 703 farmers including five chiefs of the villages were arrested.
It is an easy source of income for people of the region because poppy is used in producing many drugs including morphine.
Authorities destroyed over 400 acres of poppy fields. Chief Minister N Biren Singh launched a campaign against the drug trade 'War Against Drugs' in 2018. Poppy cultivation is a major issue in Ukhrul, Senapati, Kangpokpi, Kamjong, Churachandpur, and Tengnoupal districts.
The chief minister said the poppy farmers who surrendered voluntarily will be exempted from the police case. However, legal action will be taken against those who are encouraging and supporting poppy cultivation, reported NDTV. He added that the Manipur government is determined to make it a drug-free state.
He further said that the war on drugs is going in a positive direction and on the verge of success because people in all sections of society are supporting the initiative. "It has become a people's movement. We will achieve the goal of making Manipur free from drugs."
Manipur has five districts sharing a 400 km border with Myanmar. Less than 10% of it is fenced which allows a safe transit route for the illegal drug trade. It also facilitates access from northeast India to the 'Golden Triangle', the tri-junction of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand borders. The geography and political situation are major factors contributing to the flourishing drug trade.