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Narcotics Bureau destroys 12,900 bighas of illicit ganja in Himachal to crush drug menace 

The Central Bureau of Narcotics officers destroyed 1032 hectares ganja cultivation in Himachal Pradesh (Pic. Courtesy PIB)

Officers of Central Bureau of Narcotics have destroyed 1032 hectares (12,900 bighas) of illicit cannabis (ganja) cultivation in Himachal Pradesh in one of the biggest such operations against drugs that was carried out over two weeks, according to an official statement issued today.

After receiving specific intelligence about illicit cannabis cultivation in Himachal Pradesh, teams of the Narcotics Bureau carried out physical surveys in which some more areas of illicit cultivation were detected.

GPS coordinates were used to mark the sensitive locations and drones were used for detection and surveillance of the illicit cannabis (ganja) cultivation areas which resulted in greater success of the entire operation, the official statement explained.

Subsequently, the operation to destroy the illicit crop was started with the support of the district administration, forest department and the police.

During this operation, a two-pronged approach of creating awareness among villagers along with enforcement was adopted by the Narcotics Bureau officers.

Community mobilisation was adopted by sensitising villagers about adverse effects of drugs on body and mind. Threats that drugs tend to pose to the future of youth and children were explained.

Relevant penal provisions of NDPS act were also explained to village pradhans and members, consequent to which resolutions were passed by villagers to destroy illicit cannabis plantations around the villages.

Villagers, in fact, assisted the teams in destroying illicit cultivation by actively taking part in the exercise.

Since this is a season of apple and pomegranate harvesting, labour availability was a problem but the official teams swung into action and conducted the operation in hostile terrain with steep slopes amid rains. The officers climbed daily up to 11,000 feet above sea level and even camped in sensitive areas to expedite the destruction of illicit cultivation of cannabis.

“Mission Crackdown shall continue with same vigour in other parts of the country and the Narcotics Bureau is fully committed against the drug menace” said Rajesh Dhabre, Narcotics Commissioner, Central Bureau of Narcotics.