Imphal, May 14 2022:
As more villages and civil society organisations pledge support to Manipur War on Drugs. Manipur government’s effort to fight drug and poppy growing menace in hills is gaining momentum.
A delegation consisting of village chiefs of Saikul Assembly Constituency led by Saikul MLA Kimneo Haokip Hangshing also submitted a resolution to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh pledging their support to the Government’s War on Drugs campaign.
The resolution signed by 50 village chiefs stated that they had deliberated at length about poppy cultivation and resolved to put an immediate halt to poppy cultivation in Saikul AC.
They also resolved to approach the State Government to arrange alternative means of livelihood. The resolution stated that any individual or group who defied the resolution should, at their own risk, face legal action taken by concerned authority.
Later, Manipur Chief Minister accompanied by Letpao Haokip and several village chiefs held a press conference. Manipur Chief Minister expressed satisfaction and happiness on receiving support from a number of villages towards the campaign .
“As chiefs of Tengnoupal and Chandel have also declared their support, we may consider that the whole border area has been covered by the War on Drugs campaign,” he added.
N Biren also acknowledged the issue raised by the chiefs over non-deliverance of Government schemes in border areas which prompt the people there to take up poppy plantations to make ends meet and said that he would see into the matter to ensure their coverage in the schemes.
The Chief Minister maintained that the portfolios of Horticulture and Social Conservation and Tribal Affairs & Hills departments were given to Letpao Haokip with a belief that he would bring some positive changes in the hill areas affected by poppy plantation.
One of the village chief raise an issue regarding illegal Myanmar nationals growing poppy in the Indian territory and the Chief Minister assured to look into the issue. He added that the these illegal Myanmar nationals are creating misunderstanding among the indigenous people of Manipur. He further appealed to all sections of the society to stop uploading unfounded posts on social media which can create animosity among the people.
During the press conference, the Chief Minister also explained that the 1891 Anglo-Manipur War was fought in many battlefields, and the Government is considering to construct a Tengnoupal Battle Memorial Park at Tengnoupal at the earliest and observe Anglo-Manipuri War at Tengnoupal and Mayang Imphal from next year onwards.
To another query, the Chief Minister said that a fencing work at vulnerable areas along Myanmar border has been approved for a distance of 100 km (approx) and drone surveys for the same will be started soon.
He also said special commandos are already stationed in the areas and added that there is a preparation to set up around 14 new police stations with outposts in the area.
KCA, Tengnoupal also assured to hold a seminar to spread awareness among the villagers on the ill-effects of poppy plantation.
They also assured full cooperation and support to the campaign.
Earlier in the day, N Biren appreciated the village chiefs of Saikul AC for being the first among the Kuki community to boldly declare their stand against poppy cultivation.
He also informed that Kuki brethren residing in other areas of the State had contacted him on their support to the movement against drug menace.
The Chief Minister assured that arrangements for alternative livelihood would be taken up soon after consulting with the Horticulture and Tribal Affairs and Hills Departments adding that the Government would provide all necessary support.
About the memorandum submitted by the delegation of Saikul Assembly Constituency, N Biren assured to set up a veterinary hospital soon in Saikul AC and also to construct a mini-stadium within the Assembly Constituency.
He also warned that Government officials involved in drugs related illegal activities will be terminated from their service and will be put behind bars.
President of Kuki Inpi, Saikul Seimang Lupho and other village chiefs also took part in submitting the resolution, among others.