Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said the state has witnessed a significant reduction in poppy cultivation following the state government’s ‘War on Drugs’ campaign.

CM Biren Singh was addressing the 42nd Foundation Day Celebration of the Kangleipakki Meira, an evening daily newspaper, held at Pillow Library Ground, Mongshangei Mayai Leikai in Imphal on Monday.

The Chief Minister said, “Mass destruction of poppy plantations has been carried out under the ‘War on Drugs’ campaign. I appeal to all the authorities concerned to take up cases related to illegal drugs seriously.”

N Biren Singh said the state government also aims to make Manipur corruption-free and sought the support of the people in achieving it.

“Strict and immediate action would be initiated against those who are involved in corrupt practices. The government always stands against anti-national, anti-state, and anti-social elements.”

The Chief Minister said, “The mindset of the people, who had earlier carried out poppy plantations, has changed. The land area where the mass plantation of poppy was carried out has now reduced to around 1,100 acres from 7,600 acres.”

Alternative crops for plantations have been provided to the poppy planters for earning a livelihood, he added.

He also asked the Civil Society Organisations in the state to visit hill areas to interact with poppy growers to make them aware of the harmful impacts of poppy cultivation.

He further said the villages where poppy plantations had been substituted with alternative plantations will be rewarded by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his visit to the state this month.

He said the state government has been making an all-out effort to bring a systematic change in the state.

He also gave credit to the people of the state for their support and cooperation for the development works taking place in the state.

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During the programme, the Chief Minister also presented the Kangleipakki Meira Award, 2023 to journalists. The Best Female Journalist was presented to Phurailatpam Keni Devi; Best Male Journalist (Print) was awarded to Thongam Premchand Singh, Senior Reporter, Poknapham; Best Male Journalist (Electronics) to Urikhinbam Indra Singh, Reporter, ISTV; Best Hawker (Kangleipakki Meira) to Wahengbam Inaocha Singh and Best Male Appreciated I.P.R. Award to Sorokhaibam Prasenjit Singh.

The Chief Minister also presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to senior journalists and other renowned personalities.

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