Opium farming goes unchecked in Bara

- LAXMI SAH, BARA

Feb 29, 2016-

Opium cultivation has flourished in Bara district owing to the inability of the local administration to control the crop in the early stage.

Poppy has been grown on hectares of land in more than half a dozen villages near the Nepal-India border this year as police were unable to go round the villages due to the Madhes agitation.

When the harvest season nears, the District Police Office has now started its campaign to destroy the crop. A knowledgeable source said that people enjoying political protection and having links with police officials are involved in poppy farming. Police remain indifferent during the plantation season as if they were unaware about it, the source claimed.

Though the law bars farming of opium, hemp and other plants that are grown to produce narcotic drugs, the authorities allegedly close their eyes to the illegal activity when early action is effective. “Police destroy opium poppies but take no action against the farmers,” said a local from Patarwa VDC.

Police, however, blame the villagers. An officer said the locals do not help them identify the owner of the poppy field. Booking farmers would be impossible in such a situation, he added.

Police claim to have destroyed poppy cultivated in about 3 hectares of land at Paterwa, Kachorwa, Bhaganpur VDCs and several wards of Simraungadh Municipality. Chief District Officer Krisna Prashad Dhungana said they could 

not take legal action against the farmers due to the inability to identify the land owners.

Locals say poppy plantation is growing in the district as the farmers are spared. The farming that was initiated in Simraungadh and its vicinity in the 1990s has now spread to many other villages.

Police had filed a case against 20 suspected poppy farmers of Amritgunj in Simraungadh 11 years ago. The case is pending.

Poppy plants destroyed

PARSA: Police destroyed poppy planted at Madhubanmathawal VDC-2 in Parsa district on Sunday. The poppies were planted inside a forest land under Sukhiyani Range Post. Acting on a team, a police team led by Inspector Bhim Bahadur Khadka reached the site and destroyed the plants.  

Published: 29-02-2016 08:44

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