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Sleuths destroy ganja crop in Tripura

Guwahati, Dec. 4: The Narcotics Control Bureau has destroyed illegal cannabis (ganja) cultivation spread across 306 acres of forestland in Tripura in the past few days.

Officiating zonal director of the bureau’s Guwahati unit, Madho Singh, in a statement issued today, said based on intelligence inputs, narcotics sleuths with the help of state authorities and the BSF destroyed (ganja) cultivation under Bishalgarh and Sonam-ura subdivisions in Sipahijala district of Tripura recently.

He said the narcotics team destroyed around 1,90,000 cannabis plants in the operation carried out in three phases.

Singh said in the first phase of the operation, approximately 87,129 cannabis plants illegally cultivated on 143 acres of land at Hariharpur, Dola Radhanagar Debipur, Radhanagar and Miahpara villages in Bishalgarh subdivision were cut down and incinerated last Thursday.

Similarly, in the second phase, around 79,244 cannabis plants cultivated on 115 acres of land were destroyed by incineration at Satumura, Bangshibari and Chitrambari villages in the same subdivision on Friday.

According to the bureau’s zonal director, in the third phase of the operation that was carried out on Saturday, 24,327 ganja plants grown on 48 acres of land at Kamalnagar, Anandpur, Batadula, Dakshi and Kalamchoura villages in Sonamora subdivision were destroyed. However, no arrest could be made in this connection so far.

This is the first such operation carried out by the bureau in Tripura and the second biggest drive in the region this year.

In September, narcotics officials destroyed cannabis crops spread across 109 hectares at the Kalaktang police station area in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Cannabis is grown on a large scale in interior and inaccessible areas of the region, particularly in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Since most of these plantations are tucked away in hills and forests, government agencies have a tough time destroying these.

Some of these plantations are in areas infested by rebel outfits, and as such, not deemed safe by the bureau for carrying out operations without adequate security, which is not always readily available.

According to an official source, a large number of villagers in Tripura cultivate ganja and smuggle it to Bangladesh through the porous international border to earn a fast buck. “There is a huge demand for ganja in Bangladesh, and Tripura plays a key role in meeting this demand,” he said.