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Manipur govt’s war on drugs: Chief minister N. Biren Singh shares video highlighting success against state’s massive drug problem

The War on Drugs campaign was started in November 2018 by the Manipur government. According to the BJP, the campaign resulted in remarkable achievements including the elimination of 3,420 acres of illegal poppy farms.

Manipur’s chief minister, N. Biren Singh, uploaded a video on 25th April demonstrating how his administration has been effectively combating the state’s severe drug problem. He informed, “We have seized heroin, opium, tablets, etc. worth over Rs 60 thousand crores. Destroyed over 20 thousand hectares of poppy plantations. No. of persons arrested: 3066. Cases registered: 2461. Persons convicted under NDPS: 225. Only to save our Indian youths. We will continue.”

The chief minister also attached a 2:19-minute clip titled “Turning the Tides: Manipur’s Resolute War on Drugs” briefly describing how drug trafficking and illicit poppy production had been engulfing the state from the inside out. It shows footage taken from a helicopter of multiple tracts of hillsides where poppy cultivation took place.

The video stated, “Manipur’s geographical proximity to the Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam) made it a primary transit route for drug trafficking. It threatens to transform the state into a major poppy production and trafficking hub. Under the leadership of Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh, the BJP-led coalition government declared war on drugs. This will help eradicate the poppy plantation, drug trafficking, and abuse in the state.”

It highlighted, “The drug issue was challenging and required more intensive actions. Drone footage of massive deforestation and extensive environmental damages caused by poppy plantations angered CM N Biren. During the period from March 2022 to March 2023, the campaign yielded impressive results.”

It pointed out the adverse effects of drug plantations on nature and mentioned, “Drugs like cannabis, opium, and yaba have catastrophic environmental impacts that range from deforestation to land sinking. Poppy cultivation causes substantial harm to the environment. Mountain slopes deforested for illicit crops expose them to landslides, mudslides, and floods.” The video added, “With more public support, the war on drugs became intensified and more effective. Poppy planters were provided alternative crops and equipment by the state government.”

Notably, a similar video was shared by the Bharatiya Janta Party in December of last year and the chief minister expressed, “The drugs menace poses a serious threat not only to the people of Manipur and the Northeast but to every youth of our Nation. With massive public support, the War on Drugs campaign launched by the Manipur State Government has reaped many successes and brought positive changes to people’s lives in the state,” while reacting to the post.

The war on drugs campaign and Manipur violence

The War on Drugs campaign was started in November 2018 by the Manipur government. According to the BJP, the campaign resulted in remarkable achievements including the elimination of 3,420 acres of illegal poppy farms. The ethnic violence that erupted on 3rd May is believed to have been sparked by a plot by well-connected transnational drug traffickers to prevent the destruction of their poppy farms under the Manipur government’s War on Drugs campaign. However, the protest was triggered by the hill-majority Kuki tribes’ opposition to the valley-majority Meiteis’ demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status.

The 1,640-kilometer border between India and Myanmar has a 400-kilometer section in Manipur and poppy farming is a major industry in the neighbouring nation. The porous border trading town of Moreh was among the most severely hit locations by the riots, aside from Churachandpur. The northernmost point of Myanmar’s Chin State is located about 60 kilometers from this Indian border town. There, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) discovered a “very high” poppy crop density of more than 6 acres per square kilometer or about five football fields per square kilometer. The district of Churachandpur is also only 65 kilometres from the border of Chin State which is home to a large number of poppy fields.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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