Imphal: Tangkhul Nagas, one of the largest tribal communities in Manipur, have reaffirmed their commitment to fight against drug menace and declare Tangkhul-inhabited areas as drug or poppy-free zone.

On Monday, the Tangkhul frontal organisations submitted a resolution to Chief Minister N Biren Singh, showing their commitment to extend full cooperation and support to the state government’s ‘War on Drugs’ campaign. The delegation team who met CM Biren Singh includes representatives of Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL), Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (TNWL), Tangkhul Shanao Long (TSL), Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) and Tangkhul Zonal Organisations among others.

Earlier, Poumai Naga Union had also came forward and submitted a similar resolution to CM Biren Singh, declaring Poumai areas as drug-free zones and their commitment to stand strongly against poppy plantation.

Appreciating the delegation team for their unconditional support and bold commitment to the War on Drugs campaign, CM Biren Singh expressed his hopefulness for successfully preserving the environment which had been degraded for a long time due to large-scale poppy cultivation. He said the Tangkhuls have been playing a major role in development of the state since time immemorial.

Stating that the expression of the delegation showed seriousness in their commitment, the CM appealed to other communities to come up and stand together against poppy cultivation. He maintained that the efforts of the government alone couldn’t completely root out the drug menace from the state. He also appealed to the people of valley areas to come up with a collective stand to root out the drug menace.

The CM also took the opportunity to warn drug sellers and traffickers to stop their activities. Any untoward incident happening due to police action would be a loss for all, he added. He reiterated that the government would ensure maximum punishment for those involved in drug trafficking and selling.

Singh informed that two committees led by IAS officers, including one each for Ukhrul district and Kamjong district, have been formed to provide support in the people’s stand against poppy cultivation.

Convener, CSOs Committee on Stopping Opium Poppy Cultivation, and TSL president Thingreiphi Lungharwoshi stated that a joint forum, including civil society organisations, faith-based organisations, NGOs, media fraternity and social activists held a serious consultation at TNL Hall in Ukhrul district headquarters on May 5 and took pledge to reaffirm their position and commitment to extend support to the state government.

She continued that the joint forum had also appealed to the farmers of Ukhrul district to not opt for poppy cultivation and cautioned that rule of law would be applied against violators.

The delegation lauded the earnest efforts of the government to curb poppy plantation in the state. The team also put forward a proposal which includes engaging agriculture oriented departments to identify most suitable area, specific crops/ fruits as alternatives to poppy plantation, and providing awareness on the ill-effects of poppy plantation and use of drugs among others.

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