ITANAGAR ( By Pradeep Kumar )- Arunachal Pradesh narcotic cell led by its state nodal officer Oli Koyu in its maiden drive since March 15 last has destroyed illegal poppy cultivation in large areas of eastern parts of the state.
The drive in Wakro areas of Lohit district in close co-ordination with DC Marpe Sora & SP and patronage of Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, chief secretary Naresh Kumar, planning commissioner P. Lokhande, tax, excise & narcotics secretary Y W Ringu and commissioner K. Darang was with a difference as its straws were also bunt to prevent easy availability of poppy seeds in large quantities which facilitates cultivation and consumption.
Production and possession of poppy straws and fruits of commercial quantity of 50-kg and above in cultivation areas or warehouse is punishable with 10 to 20-year imprisonment U/S 15/8 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, said Koyu, a 1st class executive magistrate (narcotic).
Such drive is need of the hour as Arunachal is one of the top illicit opium producing states of India and illicit poppy opium straws also contain certain percentage of opiates which could be used as drugs or consmo drugs. .
However, Koyu, when contacted, informed that the drive was in tune with SLMCC action plan while CS Kumar, in his presidential address to NCORD meeting on 26.10.20, suggesting to offer meaningful alternative but sustainable livelihood to illicit opium cultivators in tune with national policy to discourage them from such illegal activities.
Koyu also told this daily that destroyed fresh opium plants and straws would be worth crores, if calculated in terms of brown sugar and heroin in national and international markets.