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NDPS cases in Himachal tripled in last 10 years, poppy, cannabis cultivators on Govt target

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NDPS cases in Himachal Pradesh in last 10 years

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has turned into a major attraction for foreign tourists. Sadly, far more than its outstanding geography, people and culture, the tourist influx reveals a deadly narcotic nexus. An increasing number of localities are falling prey to this business and addiction.

In Himachal Pradesh, the growing narcotics menace has overwhelmed a large number of youths in Kullu, Manali, Mandi and Shimla. The narcotics trade is assuming a horrific shape in Kullu where large numbers of tourists, mostly Israelis, pour in every year. This has inspired local farmers to clandestinely cultivate illegal poppy or cannabis crops to earn quick bucks.

The number of cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in Himachal Pradesh has more than tripled in last decade, the state government confirms. 

A comprehensive destruction campaign against the cultivation of Opium Poppy was launched from 15-4-2018 in all the districts of the State especially in areas where such cultivation is reported.

The drive is being launched through the Panchayats for the destruction of cannabis crop is grown areas by the end of June 2018.

HP Police’s Action Plan

Giving details of the action plan being undertaken during the campaign, the Director General of Police, Sita Ram Mardi, informed that all revenue and forest officials, elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Bodies, and Urban Local Bodies are duty bound under section 47 of ND&PS Act, 1985 to inform police about the illegal cultivation of cannabis and opium-poppy in their respective area of jurisdiction.

They will give the information in writing to concerned SHO and to Superintendent of Police. The forest officials to patrol in their respective jurisdiction and report the illegal cultivation in their beat to the police.

Once illegal cultivation is detected, a joint campaign will be launched to destroy such cultivation by involving all stakeholders, enforcement agencies such as police, NCB, SNCB, CID and departments of Forests, Revenue, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development.

These agencies will submit a progress report on poppy, opium and cannabis destruction before August 15, 2018. All SPs will associate Mahila Mandals, Yuvak Mandals and other NGOs while conducting the destruction of opium poppy and cannabis crops.
Agriculture and Horticulture departments in coordination with Rural Development department jointly will submit a proposal to adopt alternative cash crops suitable for areas cultivating opium poppy and cannabis illegally.

Sensitizing School Students

Training module for Nodal training Officers of Education department to sensitize students on drug abuse will be prepared. During PTA and SMC meetings, parents of students will also be sensitized on this issue.

Counselling sessions are also being organized once in a week in educational institutions on drug abuse. It was also emphasized that surprised checking should be carried out randomly in and around the educational institutions to identify such students who indulge in drug abuse. The major objective of such counselling is to reach the supplier of drugs through students.

All shops/dhabas located near educational institutions be kept under strict surveillance and their inspection be carried out time to time and suspicious activities around these institutions will be informed to the police.

Public Relations Department will run a massive awareness programme through different methodologies including street plays on the ill effects of drug abuse. However, street play team of Ist IRBn Bangarh Una has already set into action.

The health department will share publicity material of drug abuse on 104 helplines with Education and Public Relations departments for its further dissemination among the public.

Cannabis/Hemp Legalization Could Help Eradicate Drug Mafia

The State High Court would be convening next hearing in a petition filed regarding scopes of legalising cannabis cultivation after replacing the current species with hemp.

Hemp belongs to the cannabis family but the amount of psychoactive substance found in currently grown cannabis is almost negligible.

The genetically modified hemp will possess only .3 to 1 percent potency as compared to 3 to 4 found in the currently cultivated plant. Apparently, these plants will be of no use to the drug users.

The petition argues that while hemp could revolutionize rural economy due to its enormous scope in the manufacturing of as many as 25, 000 products including fibre and biofuel, it can also help eradicate the role of mafia. 

The villagers who are indulged in illegal cultivation of cannabis for money would get employment, the petition argues. 

In fact, the representatives of Bombay Hemp Company had in October 2017 called on Governor Acharya Devvrat at Rajbhawan and gave a presentation on utilizing Industrial Hemp as a strategic asset devoted to a reformation of agriculture and boosting its role in the economy alongwith uplifting socio-economic standards of local farmers.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel had also asked the State and Centre government to provide its response.

However, the government is not taking any interest in this direction. Meanwhile, common people are still mistaking this legalisation petition as an attempt to legalise cannabis smoking, which is not the case here.

For more information, you can read this previous report published on Himachal Watcher.

Misc News/Press Release

Shimla Police nabs Nigerian man with 25 grams Chitta

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Nigerian man arrested by shimla police with chitta

Shimla: With the assistance of the Delhi Police, the district police has arrested a Nigerian national Kra Basile for alleged involvement in drug peddling to Shimla.

A team led by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Shimla (City), Dinesh Sharma, also recovered 25 grams of Chitta (heroin) from his possession during questioning.

During the course of interrogation the said Nigerian National was trying to conceal something. On being suspicious of narcotics/ contraband, a search of the above person was conducted in the presence of DSP City. During the search, 25.46 gram Chitta (heroin) has been recovered from the possession of Nigerian National,

said the FIR registered at the Police Station, Dhalli, under Sections 21,29 of the ND&PS Act.

Related Story: Two Shimla youth held with 19 grams Chitta

As per the Sharma, the said accused is believed to be involved in supply to several parts of the district for some time. His name had appeared during the questioning from some local youth allegedly arrested with Chitta during past week, he said.

Following this lead, the police put his number on tracking, and a trap was laid to nab him by posing as a decoy customer.

It is expected that his interrogation would lead to more revelations and arrests of others linked with this network.

Also Read: Story of Shimla youth who started with smoking charas at 17, ended up in jail at 22 as drug peddler

The DSP Sharma and other staff members were cheering considering it a breakthrough amid heavy pressure from the public due to an alarming rise in involvment of youth in drug/substance abuse.

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Environment

15 lakh saplings planted in Himachal by 80,000 people in 3 days, claims Forest Minister

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15 lakh sapling planted in Himachal Pradesh on van mahotsav

Shimla: The Forest Minister Govind Singh Thakur today said that three days statewide plantation campaign from 12 to 14 July 2018 was launched in the State and more than 15 lakh saplings were planted in different parts of the State.

He said that the campaign was undertaken in all 13 Forest Circles in the state and Forty-one Forest Divisions participated in the campaign. Plantations were performed at 600 sites of the state. Chamba Forest Division with 99,281 plants was at First position followed by Ani and Rampur Forest Divisions with 81,369 and 80,059 plants respectively.

More than six lakh deodar species were planted beside broad leave and other conifers. He said that the entire plantation campaign was monitored online.

He said that all walks of life including school children, women, senior citizen and youth comprising 80000 people actively participated in the campaign. Plantation activities were performed from the boundaries of the state in the north with Jammu and Kashmir to Yamuna River in south and Kinnaur district in the east to boundaries of the state with Punjab in the west, he added.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had inaugurated state level Van Mahotsav on July 10 from Rajgargh in Sirmaur district. Governor Acharya Devvrat also participated in the campaign at Nehra in Shimla District on July 13 2018.

He said that plantation activities are still going on and it is expected that total 17 lakh plants will be planted by the end of the campaign.

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Misc News/Press Release

Gunfight in Naina Devi: One wanted criminal shot dead, 2 arrested

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Nainadevi encounter by punjab police

Bilaspur: Panic gripped the world famous Shakti Peeth Shri Naina Devi in Bilaspur district on Saturday morning due to a gun-fight between alleged gangsters and a team of the Punjab Police. While one of the criminals was shot dead in the cross firing, two others were arrested.

Punjab and Himachal Pradesh Police had sealed the entire area including the bus station and main entrance to the temple. The devotees also faced huged inconvenience due to it.

Some policemen were also injured in the gunfight, however, the police did not make any confirmation about the number of injured policemen.

Naina devi firing

Weapon recovered by the police

As per the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mohali, Kuldeep Singh, armed with a firearm, these men had allegedly snatched a car from a man in Mohali on the intervening night of 13 and 14 July.

After receiving the information, the police chased them upto Naina Devi where one of the criminals opened fire on the police, and police also responded with firearms.

Naina devi shooting

Area turned into police cantonment

During a cross firing between the police and the criminals. The Superintendent of Police, Bilaspur, Ashok Kumar also reached the spot and confirmed the incident.

The killed youth was identified as Sunni Masih while two others arrested were identified as Amanpreet and Goldy. Sunni was taken to the Aanandpur Sahib hospital where he died.

As per the police, the alleged criminals were wanted in several cases registered for theft and under the arms act in various police stations of Punjab.

The Himachal Pradesh police have registered a case under Section 307 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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