Maoists are now caught engaging in narcotics trade like other terror organizations across the world. As per the data and photos released by the paramilitary force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), their battalions deployed in Naxal affected areas of Jharkhand have destroyed more than 550 acres of illegal Poppy cultivation in the past one year itself. This shows that the Red Terror gang is making their main revenue thorough narcotics trade in the jungle and remote barren areas.
It is a known secret that many pharmaceutical companies are also having a tie-up with illegal Poppy cultivators and the Maoists charge protection money from both sides
“SSB launched intensive operations in the area of responsibilities against Narcotics and cultivation of Poppy, especially in Naxal prone areas. The broader aim is to jolt Naxals financially. In the year 2017-18, SSB Battalions have successfully destroyed the poppy cultivation of approximately 550 acres of land. The average production of opium per acre is 20 Kg and the cost is Rs.1 lakh per Kg. The total cost of poppy cultivation destroyed by SSB was of Rs.55 crores ($10 million),” said the statement issued by the SSB recently.
The statement issued by the SSB lists out the seizure, destruction of the Poppy cultivation in joint operations with state police in 27 areas in Jharkhand during January & February 2018 alone. The Cannabis, Opium cultivations were destroyed in the remote areas of Khunti, Ranchi, Gaya, Hazaribagh districts of Jharkhand. In some areas – deep jungles or remote barren lands – as many as five to 30 acres of land used were illegal cultivations.
According to officers, the cultivators have to give protection money or they directly cultivate and supervise the transportation of the narcotics products to urban areas or smuggle it into Nepal. The narcotics trade and cultivation is the biggest revenue for Naxals and they won’t allow any infrastructure developments in these remote, jungle areas. The roads, schools, telecommunication facilities were destroyed to keep their 100s of crores worth narcotics business keep going.
It is a known secret that many pharmaceutical companies are also having a tie-up with illegal Poppy cultivators and the Maoists charge protection money from both sides. Many big Corporates involved in mining and other business related to natural resources also pay huge protection money to Maoists to carry forward their illegal trades. The payments were passed over to Maoists by Corporates through their local vendors or contractors.
The tribal leader Soni Sori was caught for accepting money from Essar Group. Later, Essar Group which funded Tehelka Magazine’s functions tried to make it into a big human rights issue to save her and get sympathy for her. The leaked Essar tapes also exposed that the Group had allowed many Maoists to stay in their guest houses when police were searching for them.
It is time for the forces to curb the Maoists and their dreaded activities to spoil the generations by strong actions.
Below is the list of 27 areas where Poppy, Cannabis, and Opium cultivations destroyed by SSB in January and February 2018:
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