Imphal: Taking a big step towards supporting the Manipur government’s ‘war on drugs’ initiative, the Poumai Naga tribe has declared a ‘drug free zone’ against poppy plantation in the entire Poumai area in Senpati district. This is also the first such case where the whole community has come out and declared support to the fight against menace of drugs in the state.

On Saturday, a delegation of the Poumai tribe led by Karong AC MLA J Kumo Sha, Poumai Naga Union president D Dailord Pao, Poumai Naga Women’s Union president P Delilah Pao and other CSO leaders met chief minister N Biren Singh and submitted a resolution of the tribe declaring Poumai areas as ‘drug free’ zones.

The decision to declare a drug-free zone against poppy plantations was taken during the Poumai General Body Meeting held on April 28, 2022.

The resolution submitted to CM Biren Singh stated that the office of the Poumai Naga Union, PNU, Senapati District, Manipur in recognition of CM’s initiative on War on Drugs, the Poumai Naga Union, PNU, hereby adopt that after a threadbare discussion about the importance of preserving, conserving our forest land resources and in the larger interest of the people and its future, the House has resolved to curb and control the plantation of poppy or any other forms of drugs in the Poumai Naga Area and its jurisdiction.

“Henceforth, the House unanimously declared the Poumai Naga Union and its jurisdiction drug free zone on this day, the 28th April, 2022,” the resolution added.

Speaking to media persons at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, CM Biren Singh appreciated the Poumai tribe for the resolution and commended the community saying that it was encouraging as well as supportive of the government’s ‘war on drugs’.

“It is indeed a historic moment,” the CM said while highlighting that there have been instances of villages coming out in support of the war on drugs, but it is the first time that such a large community or tribe has come out and declared such support to the war on drugs.

Singh expressed his appreciation for the declaration. “The government alone cannot do anything without the support of the masses, “he said. 

Stressing that there are also indications that other communities will join the fight soon, the CM said that any success gained in the movement will be for the public and not the government. “The government acts as only the driver,” he added.

The chief minister further appealed to all communities and tribes to join the movement and reiterated his earlier stand that there will be no compromise on the issue of illegal drugs.

Singh also said that people involved in the drug business in the valley should understand that the drug menace is detrimental to the future of our society and put a stop to any illegal drug related businesses.

CM also observed that almost 70 percent of the people of hills have come out strongly supporting the movement to eradicate drugs and called upon those involved in illegal drug business, encouraging poppy plantation, drug peddling to young students, etc. in the valley to cease operation. 

Other leaders of the tribe also expressed hope that other communities and tribes will also follow and join the fight to eradicate drugs from the state. 

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