India: Central Bureau of Narcotics destroys 1,032 hectares of illicit cannabis cultivation in Himachel Pradesh

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Narcotics has destroyed around 1,032 hectares of illicit cannabis (ganja) cultivation in Himachal Pradesh (HP), in one of the biggest anti-drug operations conducted in the state, Union Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

The operation was conducted over the past two weeks. On receiving specific intelligence about illicit cannabis (ganja) cultivation in Himachal Pradesh, teams of officers of CBN were formed and dispatched. Officers of CBN verified the intelligence and further carried out physical surveys resulting in the detection of more areas of illicit cultivation. Subsequently, the destruction operation was started with the support of the District Administration, Forest Department and the Police, according to an official statement released by the Union Ministry of Finance.
During this operation, a two-pronged approach of creating awareness among villagers along with enforcement was adopted by officers of the Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN).

Community mobilisation was adopted by sensitising villagers about the adverse effects of drugs on the body and mind. Threats that drugs tend to pose to the future of youth and children were explained. Relevant penal provisions of the 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 assisted officers of CBN to destroy illicit cultivation by actively taking part in exercise under the supervision of CBN officers.

Four teams of CBN Officers were simultaneously allotted different areas of operation and given the flexibility to work jointly in certain areas with large illicit cultivation of cannabis. Officials from Forest department, Revenue & the Police department also accompanied teams during operations in light of sensitive nature of the operation.


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