The Malda police have taken various initiatives to stop the poppy cultivation in different places of the district. The police have called up all the members of the local panchayats and MLAs to discuss how to fully stop the cultivation. The representatives of the panchayat have given written assurance to the police that they would inform the cops about the hidden poppy cultivation.
However, the Malda District Magistrate Sarat Kumar Dwivedi, SP Arnab Ghosh, Additional District Magistrate Debatosh Mondal and ASP (Rural) Debasis Sen conducted a raid in some of the villages. The farmers, who were unable to farm at their land this year due to demonetisation issues, were trying to cultivate poppy seeds there. But the district administration warned them not to do so.
“The poppy and Black Mustard or Rai Sorse looks the same. It is very difficult to differentiate these two. We can identify poppy only when its flower grows,” said Arnab Ghosh, SP, Malda.
“We have been trying to stop illegal poppy cultivation through our excise and district administration branches but so far there has been no remarkable progress. The illegal farming keeps going on. We have now decided to use drones to keep a hawk’s eye across the entire district, especially the blocks close to the Indo-Bangla border, to track and check illegal poppy cultivation,” SP added.
A meeting was organised on Tuesday on illegal poppy cultivation and ways and means to stop the
menace, which was attended by the DM, SP, all BDOs, Inspector in-Charge and Officer in-Charge of all police stations, panchayat officials and elected panchayat representatives and members of NGOs.