The Tangkhul Naga Long has taken strong exception to former union minister, Jairam Ramesh’s statement on urea being diverted to hill areas in Manipur for poppy cultivation, stating that his remark is very misleading and far from truth, a press release issued on Thursday has said.
TNL’s release criticised Jairam Ramesh’s remark, and categorically refuted his assertions saying,“hill people of Ukhrul and Kamjong districts and its areas are not “lawless people,” and such uninvited derogatory remarks may not be passed on us for political mileage and to tarnish the image of the hill people.”
The senior INC leader had on August 31 accused the BJP-led government in Manipur of diverting urea supply meant for farmers to opium fields, thereby boosting the poppy cultivation. The former union minister took to twitter and said, “Manipur is getting TWICE the supply of urea it needs and yet farmers complain of shortage! Why? Because urea is diverted to hill areas in Manipur, where poppy is being grown for opium in large areas in last 4 years. The State Govt is fully complicit in this.”
TNL further stated that Jairam’s particular statement on “urea diverted to Manipur hills” implies that hill people are lawless and are freely practicing illegal poppy plantation without any sense of abiding law of the land and that the state government is promoting such illegal activities, it said.
The Tangkhul apex civil organisation while refuting the unsubstantiated statement said, “mention may be made that on the February 25, 2021 a conglomerate of 33 tribes from all the Hill districts of Manipur hosted by Meetei Leepun held at Budhachandra Open Air theatre (BOAT), Imphal, took a pledge to do away with poppy cultivation in support of the government of Manipur’s declaration of war on drugs,” TNL maintained.
TNL furthermore reminded that the pledge taking event was attended by about thousand men and women leaders, high dignitaries, DCs and SPs of all Hill districts and the honourable chief minister of Manipur as chief guest attended the conference to show solidarity and support, it stated.
“As far as Ukhrul district and Kamjong area are concerned, all the Civil Society Organisations have taken a strong resolution that no village/people would be allowed to do poppy plantation and all the villages have extended full cooperation during the operation of massive destruction of poppy plantations in Ukhrul district led by the Ukhrul SP,” TNL concluded.