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Drugs and narcotics menace in Himachal: 133 kg charas, 10 kg opium, 223 grams heroin seized in 3 months

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Himachal Youth in Drugs

133 kg of “charas” (cannabis), 10 kg opium, 223 grams heroin, 6.03 kg ganja and 0.004 gm of smack seized in the state in three months from April 1.

SHIMLA- Himachal Pradesh, like neighbouring Punjab, is facing a deadly menace drugs and narcotics. In just three months, 274 narcotic-related cases were registered and 320 people were arrested, police records show.

The menace has attained alarming proportions and has turned into a matter of concern not just for the state government but for the courts too.

The state high court is not only pulling up government functionaries on each and every day for apparent lapses in dealing with this growing threat, but virtually rapped them on their knuckles about the steps they have to initiate to counter it.

Quoting a study by the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, a recent judgment by a bench headed by Justice Rajiv Sharma observed 40 per cent youth in the state are involved in drug abuse.

Also Read: Himachal’s Cannabis/Opium Eradication Drive: 1.89 crore cannabis plants, 1.65 crore opium plants uprooted from 1,527.05 hectare

Agreeing, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said the government has adopted zero tolerance towards narcotics. Our

Our neighbouring state (Punjab) is badly affected by drugs and in our state too its menace is a serious challenge,

he said

Whether it’s Malana (in Kullu Valley) or any remote area that is known for growing opium or cannabis, the government is currently destroying their cultivation,

he added.

Police officials said that the inaccessible valleys and lofty mountains in the western Himalayas are areas for cultivation of cannabis and opium. They are the country’s biggest drug-producing areas with a considerable quantity finding its way to Europe.

kumarsain Police Canabis Eradicaiton

An official said the lure of drugs and quick bucks also attracts foreigners to the largely unexplored areas of Himachal Pradeshwhere they have become part of unorganised drug cultivation. Some of them never return home — they simply disappear mysteriously.

Police records show that there are 50,000 acres in Kullu Valley alone where cannabis is cultivated.

Chief Secretary V.C. Pharka, who was monitoring the fortnight-long statewide campaign that ended on September 5, said cannabis crops on 19,157 bighas of government land and 6,040 bighas of private land and 76,093 poppy plants were destroyed. (One bigha is 0.4 hectare.)

Countering this, BJP legislator and former minister Ravinder Ravi said that areas in the state bordering Punjab and Haryana have become drug hubs. The drug menace has assumed alarming proportions in pilgrim centres and tourist destinations too.

In the just-concluded assembly session, he said, a stationery shop in the vicinity of a senior secondary school in Thural, some 90 km from Dharamsala town, sold ink eraser fluid worth Rs 3 lakh in just one year.

Thural is a small sub-tehsil. There are one or two small government offices. The sale of fluid bottles worth Rs 3 lakh in a year is a matter of concern,

he said.

The volume of this clandestine trade can be gauged from a government reply in the assembly that 133 kg of “charas” or cannabis, 10 kg opium, 223 grams heroin, 6.03 kg ganja and 0.004 gm of smack was seized in the state in three months from April 1.

Officials say over 60 per cent of the poppy and cannabis produce in Himachal Pradesh is smuggled out to countries like Israel, Italy, Holland and some other European countries. The remaining finds its way to Nepal or Indian states like Goa, Punjaband Delhi.

In the past five years, over 70 foreigners, mainly Britons, Israelis, Dutch, Germans, Japanese and Italians, have been arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The Magic Valley in the upper reaches of Malana, some 50 km from Kullu town, is known for cultivating “Malana Cream”, the prized hashish, a purified resinous extract of cannabis.

Easy availability of Narcotics in McLeodganj and its surrounding areas in Kangra district and Kasol in Kullu district have turned the areas into an addicts’ haven, say the police.

Also Read: Shimla drug kingpin arrested with 16 kg drugs, police seizes jewellery, 3 houses, vehicles

The crime rate under the NDPS Act is 7.7 per cent in Himachal Pradesh, compared to 2.8 per cent in the country.

OP Sharma, a former superintendent of the Narcotics Control Bureau, said

alternative farming is the only way of controlling poppy and cannabis cultivation.

Citing field surveys, he estimates over 2,500 villages dotted across inaccessible valleys and lofty mountains in Kullu, Chamba, Mandi, Shimla and Sirmaur districts are known for growing cannabis and poppy cultivation.

Also Read: Himachal Govt. objects to ‘Udta Punjab’ for showing its pharma hub ‘Barotiwala’ as drug supply source

Referring to Malana, known for the prized hashish, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said the government would provide high-quality imported rootstock of apples to the locals so that they can opt for alternative and remunerative cultivation.

In other cannabis growing areas, he said the government would promote cultivation of exotic vegetables and flowers.

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Vivek Kumar of Kangra Among Those Martyred in Helicopter Crash, Leaves Behind Wife and 2-Month-Old Son

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vivek kumar jaisinghpur kangra

Kangra-The demise of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, his wife along with 11 others onboard an Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter that crashed in Coonoor of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday shocked the nation.

Tributes were pouring in across the world for India’s first CDS and other departed souls.

A village in Kangra district – Thehado (ठेहडू) in Jaisinghpur subdivision-is also mourning the demise of Vivek Raj who was also onboard the ill-fated chopper. Lance Nayak Vivek Kumar 1 Para (SF) was PSO to the CDS, Bipin Rawat.

Vivek left behind a wife and 2-months-old son. He had joined the J&K Rifles in 2012 and later served as a commando. He had got married in 2020. The news of his departure has left the family devastated. A pall of gloom has descended upon his native village. His father Ramesh Chand is a daily wager and his mother is a housewife. His younger brother runs a bakery shop in Baijnath.     

On Thursday, officials from the Defence visited his house for collecting the DNA sample of the parents. The bodies, according to the report, were burnt so badly in the crash that it was difficult to ascertain their identities. The DNA samples would help in the identification.

According to the official reports, the sole survivor of the crash, Group Captain Varun Singh, was on life support at the Military Hospital at Wellington.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has retrieved the Flight Recorder of the Black Box of the helicopter. The cause of the crash was still under investigation.

Bipin Rawat along with his wife and other 13 was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to deliver a lecture.

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Shimla, Manali Receive Season’s First Spell of Snow, Cheers Tourism Industry

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snowfall in shimla 2021

Shimla-First spell of snow in Shimla’s tourist destinations, Narkanda and Kufri, has cheered the tourism industry as it would increase the footfall of tourists. Similarly, higher parts of Manali also reported a light spell of snow on Sunday evening. Lahaul-Spiti, however, reportedly witnessed heavy snowfall and Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, was closed for traffic. Parts of the Kinnaur district also recorded a spell of snow.

Chopal in Shimla had received 2-3 inches of snow, while Dodra Kwar recorded one foot of snow, according to the Met Department.

In Kullu, Jalori Pass had received 3 inches of snow, Rohtang top 2.5 feet, and Atal Tunnel 1.5 feet.

In Lahaul-Spiti, Koksar/Sissu had recorded 18 inches of snow, Keylong 8 inches, Darcha 12 inches, Udaipur 4 inches, Tindi 2 inches, Kaza 1 inch, and Lossar 2 inches of snow.

In Kinnaur, Chitkul had recorded 15.4 cms of snow, Kalpa 5 cms, and Sangla 7.62 cms. Nichar also received a light spell.

This change in weather has triggered a cold wave across the state. Further, the Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department had issued a yellow alert for December 5, 2021. The Met has predicted rain and snow on December 6 too. While the weather is predicted to be dry on December 8, the state could witness more rain and snow on December 7 and December 9, according to the Met Department.

Most roads, except in Lahaul-Spiti, remain open to traffic movement, the district administrations of Shimla and Kullu confirmed. Further, the administrations said preparations are being made to keep the roads clear in case of heavy snowfall.

This tourist season is crucial for the hospitality industry which was worst hit by the pandemic induced restrictions. However, the entry of Omicron – the new variant of Covid-19 that has been termed as a variant of concern by the WHO-haunts the season. India had reported as many as 21 cases of Omicron till Sunday. If the HP Government decides to impose restrictions on the entry of the domestic tourist in view of the spread of the new variant, the hospitality industry could again face losses.  

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Himachal Achieves 100% Vaccination Target, OPD at AIIMS, Bilaspur, Inaugurated   

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vaccination second dose in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has achieved the 100 percent target of the second dose of Covid vaccination, the State government informed on Sunday.  Himachal Pradesh has become the first State of the country in achieving the target of cent per cent vaccination of targeted eligible age group, it informed.  

According to the HP Government, all eligible 53,86,393 adults have been administered the second dose of the vaccine.

District-Wise Vaccination Details

District

Number of People Vaccinated 

Bilaspur  318150
Chamba 352605
Hamirpur 361954
Kangra 1140439
Kinnaur 68460
Kullu 322643
Lahaul-Spiti 25494
Mandi 738818
Shimla 634019
Sirmaru 410187
Solan 584326
Una 429298

A complete vaccination was performed first in the inaccessible areas and tribal areas of the state and Kinnaur district became the first district in the entire country to administer the second dose of the vaccine to all eligible adults, the government informed.

On this occasion, Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Member of Parliament and National BJP President, also addressed a felicitation ceremony of Covid Vaccination Workers at Bilaspur on Sunday.

Nadda also dedicated the first OPD at AIIMS Kothipura in Bilaspur. The AIIMS Bilaspur would be made fully functional within the next six months, said Nadda.

 

jp nadda at aiims bilaspur

JP Nadda at AIIMS Bilaspur

He said that the foundation stone of this institution was laid about three years back and it would have been completed a year ago, but the pace was affected due to the corona pandemic. He said that Himachal Pradesh has got an Rs. 500 crore Satellite centre of PGI Chandigarh at Una.

He also congratulated the State Government, doctors, health care workers and all the frontline workers for achieving this unique feat. 

Union Minister of Health, Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh were also present on the occasion

 

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