Poppy plants in around 120 acres were destroyed as the second phase of the drive against poppy cultivation in Ukhrul district on Tuesday, a police source said on Wednesday.
A combined team of Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB), Manipur police, Manipur Rifles, and Forest department launched the poppy plant destruction drive at Songphel and Molnum areas of Ukhrul district.
Around 120 personnel of the combined team have been camping in the area for the drive since Monday and they carried out the destruction campaign in around 120 acres of fields, the police source added. The team will continue its drive further to other areas of the district, the police source added.
The drive was a part of Manipur government’s “war on drugs” and this is the second phase of this year’s drive against the illegal practice of poppy cultivation in the state.
The first phase of the drive was conducted in Churachandpur district in the middle week of November last. In the first phase drive, the team had destroyed illegal poppy plantations along the Lanva-Teiseng stream in Churachandpur district.
Ahead of the commencement of the drive, the state police informed that the state police had been planning to conduct an intensified drive with coordination of the state and central security forces like Assam Rifles and Army. The police further informed that prior to the commencement of the drive, they had conducted a survey of the poppy cultivation areas using satellite imagery and ground survey and the drive would be based on the survey reports.
Last year, the state police had destroyed poppy plants to the extent of 2,300 acres and this year the police is targeting more areas during the demolition drive.
Despite knowing that poppy plantation is illegal in the state, the practice is expanding to more areas in hill districts.