National

Opium farming goes unchecked, difficult to locate plantation sites

- SHIVA PURI, RAUTAHAT

Mar 31, 2019-

Opium cultivation in Rautahat district is currently going unchecked by authorities, as local administration is having a tough time identifying places where poppy plants are being quietly grown.

But recently, an informant tipped-off the police about an opium plantation at Sagaiya Pipariya of Maulapur Municipality-7. Acting on the information, the district police office immediately deployed a police team in the area but the security personnel failed to locate the plantation site. The police finally found the site with the informant’s help on Tuesday.  

According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Bhupendra Khatri, poppy plants was planted in about five katthas of land in the middle of a big corn field. “It was found that the poppy plants were planted very carefully in the middle of the vast cornfield. It was quite difficult to penetrate the cornfield and reach where the opium poppies were planted,” said SP Khatri. “There can be opium cultivation in other places in the district as well. I have deployed security teams in some possible areas,” he added.

The police team destroyed the poppy plants; however, they do not know who owns the field. “The investigation is going on. We will soon find the landlord and arrest them,” said SP Khatri.

After they received information that opium cultivation was going unchecked in various villages bordering with India in southwestern part of the district, the District Police Office (DPO) recently launched a campaign to destroy poppy plants. The DPO has intensified its action because the poppy harvest season is nearing. The crop, planted in the month of December, is generally harvested in March-April.

 Security sources said that some local farmers are lured by drugs smugglers to plant poppies, as they can earn a huge amount of money from it. The poppy plants are generally planted in the middle of a cornfield or a sugarcane field so that security personnel and even local people do not notice it.

Police had discovered an opium plantation for the first time in the district 10 years ago. A joint team of Nepal Police and Armed Police

Force destroyed the crops planted in about 10 bighas of land then in Sarmajuwa, Pathara, Budharam, Sonarniya, among other places.

Published: 31-03-2019 08:53

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