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Thursday, May 19, 2022
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8.5 hectares of Poppy cultivation destroyed by officials in Anjaw

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The district administration and state police officers destroyed 8.5 hectares of poppy cultivation in different places in Walla, Kamdi, and Ngi villages in the Hawai circle of Anjaw district.

To ensure law and order, Anjaw deputy commissioner Talo Jerang headed the poppy elimination operation, while Arunachal Pradesh police were deployed under the control of SI Ojing Moyong of Hawai police station.

The district administration had previously warned illegal poppy growers that they would face severe consequences if they continued to cultivate the crop. (DIPRO)

Poppy Cultivation in Arunachal Pradesh

Over the last two decades, the Mishmi Hills in Arunachal Pradesh, which are part of the eastern Himalayas in northeast India, have become known for illegal poppy cultivation.

Poppy

Authorities have failed to take adequate action, with crop devastation occurring on a regular basis doing little to halt the lucrative trade.

This has resulted in the devastation of vast swaths of forestland in a global biodiversity hotspot, as well as serious societal issues in India’s remotest region.

Moreover, Anjaw, Lohit, and Namsai districts once had India’s densest woods. Jhum cultivation (a traditional form of slash and burn agriculture) in the hills and biodiverse lush forests in the plains have been replaced by large expanses of opium poppies (Papaver somniferum L).

Poppy

“Uniquely located in the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, Arunachal Pradesh harbours the world’s northernmost tropical rainforests and is home to nearly half of the flowering plants and bird species from India,” said Aparajita Datta, senior scientist with the Nature Conservation Foundation.

In addition, he said, “The loss of many of these forest areas would shrink the space for many bird species; Arunachal has over 600 bird species. Plus, there are many threatened mammal species in these regions.”

Opium is commonly planted in inaccessible mountainous places accessible only by trekking for several hours, or deep in the jungles of the plains. The annual inspections by government anti-narcotics teams have only resulted in the nominal destruction of crops in reasonably accessible locations due to the challenging terrain.

Officials destroyed 285 hectares of poppy in the Medo area near Wakro and 210 hectares of opium in the Lohitpur area near Tezu in the first round of opium destruction in 2019, following which this complaint was filed at Wakro police station under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Poppy

Prior instances have solely included the possession or seizure of illegal opium and other substances. This is the first time illicit opium cultivation has been prosecuted.

Also Read: GOALPARA POLICE DESTROYS 70 BIGHAS OF OPIUM CULTIVATION

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