GUWAHATI, Dec 4 � Assam has emerged as a hotbed for drug dealers and trade in contraband items, especially those dealing in cannabis has flourished over the years.
Assam, especially Guwahati, not only acts as a transit route (for other parts of the country) of this thriving trade but also provides a lucrative market for the dealers.
�Although it would be difficult to assess the exact size of the trade in the State, the recent recoveries of ganjas and other sedatives in Guwahati has certainly posed a serious question mark,� a senior Assam Police official told this reporter.
Cannabis cultivation is a thriving business in other parts of the North East as well and the Narcotics Control Bureau has been carrying out a series of destruction drives to uproot the menace.
As part of the intensified drive against illegal cultivation of cannabis, the NCB, Guwahati Zone, has destroyed over 300 acres of cannabis cultivation in Tripura in the last one week. The drive to up root ganja trade in the North-East, the Bureau has intensified the drive since September this year.
The drive is being carried out based on the inputs of illegal cultivation coming from various parts of the North-East. In continuation of this drive, a team of NCB officers, Guwahati Zonal Unit, with the help of State authorities, State Police, BSF and Forest officials carried out the destruction operations of illicit cannabis (ganja) cultivation under Bishalgarh and Sonamora Subdivisions in Tripura, informed Madho Singh, officiating zonal director, NCB, Guwahati.
The NCB team destroyed around 306 acres (approximately 1,90,000 numbers of cannabis plants) of illicit cannabis cultivation.
While 143 acres (approximately 87,129 numbers of cannabis plants) of illicit cultivation of cannabis plants were destroyed by incineration on November 29, the second phase of destruction of 115 acres (approx. 79,244 number of cannabis plants) of illicit cultivation were done on November 30. The third phase of destruction of cultivation of 48 acres (approx 24,327 numbers of plants) in Kamalnagar, Anandpur, Batadula, Dakshi and Kalamchoura under Sonamora sub division in Tripura. Border Security Force and Tripura State Police Police actively assisted the NCB officials in carrying out the destruction operations.
Earlier in September this year, the NCB carried out destruction operations of illicit cannabis (ganja) cultivation in Arunachal Pradesh. The NCB team destroyed around 109 acres of illicit cannabis cultivation there. The NCB also destroyed opium cultivation in Arunachal Pradesh in March-April this year.