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Central Bureau of Narcotics Destroys 1,032 hectares of Illegal Cannabis Cultivation in Himachal Pradesh

GPS coordinates were used to tag and mark sensitive areas, and drones were used to find and monitor illegal cannabis (ganja) cultivation areas, the operation was more successful overall.

Shivam Dwivedi
Illicit cannabis (ganja) cultivation in Himachal Pradesh
Illicit cannabis (ganja) cultivation in Himachal Pradesh

After receiving information about illicit cannabis (ganja) cultivation in Himachal Pradesh, Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN) teams were formed. CBN officers verified the intelligence and conducted physical surveys, resulting in the discovery of additional areas of illicit cultivation.

Following that, a destruction operation was launched with the assistance of the District Administration, the Forest Department, and the Police. CBN officers used a two-pronged approach during this operation, raising awareness among villagers and enforcing the law. Community mobilisation was implemented by informing villagers about the negative effects of drugs on the body and mind. The dangers that drugs pose to the future of youth and children were discussed.

Relevant penal provisions of the NDPS act were also explained to Village Pradhans and members, and as a result, villagers passed resolutions to destroy illegal cannabis plantations around the villages. Villagers assisted CBN officers in destroying illegal cultivation by actively participating in an exercise overseen by CBN officers.

CBN has four teams. Officers were assigned to different areas of operation at the same time and given the freedom to collaborate in areas with large amounts of illicit cannabis cultivation. Because of the sensitive nature of the operation, officials from the Forest Department, Revenue Department, and Police Department accompanied teams during operations.

It is worth noting that because this is apple and pomegranate harvesting season, labour availability was an issue, but this did not deter the grit and determination of CBN teams, who swung into action and conducted destruction operations in hostile terrain with steep slopes and rains.  Officers climbed up to 11,000 feet above sea level every day and even camped in sensitive areas to speed up the destruction of illegal cannabis cultivation. DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) officers later joined this operation.

GPS coordinates were used to tag / mark the sensitive locations, and drones were used to detect and monitor the illicit cannabis (ganja) cultivation areas, resulting in a greater overall success of the operation. "Mission Crackdown will be carried out with the same zeal in other parts of the country, and CBN is fully committed to combating the Drug Menace," said Rajesh F Dhabre, Narcotics Commissioner, Central Bureau of Narcotics.

The Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN) is the apex drug law enforcement agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, tasked with identifying and destroying illicit cannabis and opium cultivation, among other duties.

CBN has conducted destruction operations in many states, including West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Uttarakhand, resulting in the destruction of more than 25,000 hectares of illicit Opium and Cannabis cultivation over the years. CBN also destroyed approximately 3,600 hectares of opium in Arunachal Pradesh in February and March of this year. CBN intends to continue such illicit cultivation destruction operations across India in the future.

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