Aizawl: Kolasib district administration on Wednesday banned the import of areca nuts illegally smuggled from other countries.
An order issued by the deputy commissioner said that smuggled areca nuts should not be imported into the Kolasib district by any citizens and any consignment of such illegal items should not pass through the district.
The prohibitory order will be in force for 60 days from the date of its issuance, it said.
Any violator will be punished under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), it said.
The order also said that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the state home department had also issued orders citing the need to ban the illegal import of areca nuts from neighbouring countries.
Kolasib shares a border with Assam, and many consignments of smuggled areca nuts passed through the district to be transported to the neighbouring state.
Last year, Champhai district, which shares a border with Myanmar, also banned the smuggling or import of illegal trade items, including Burmese areca nuts, from Southeast Asian countries through the district.
Opposition Congress legislator Lalrindika Ralte had on Monday written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to stop the smuggling of areca nuts from Myanmar.
He also sought the Prime Minister’s help to resolve the problems being faced by areca nut growers in Mizoram due to the rampant smuggling of Burmese areca nuts via the state. Ralte informed the Prime Minister that there has been widespread illegal import of dry areca nuts from neighbouring Myanmar and elsewhere through the porous border in the eastern side of Mizoram.
Although the Centre has directed the governments of Mizoram and Manipur to curb the illegal import of areca nuts, “the way the Mizoram government has been reacting to this unhealthy situation was very pathetic and short of expectation from a state government,” he had said.
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