First up, for those of you who don’t knnow India you’ll want to know what a Naxalite is….

A Naxal or Naxalite (/ˈnʌksəlaɪt/) is a member of any political organisation that claims the legacy of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist), founded in Calcutta in 1969. The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is the largest existing political group in that lineage today in India.(WIKIPEDIA)

 

The Naxalism-affected areas of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal and difficult terrain of some of the hilly states have been used for illegal cannabis cultivation and the contraband produced there find its way to all over the country, officials said on Tuesday.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has also seized a large amount of narcotics substances in different parts of the country in the last two months.

Illegal cannabis cultivation in India is largely concentrated around the Naxalism-affected areas of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal and difficult hilly terrain of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura, a government official said.

”Ganja” from these regions find its way to all over the country, including Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and is also smuggled across the ocean to Sri Lanka.

Hostile terrain and inaccessibility make this area difficult for the law enforcement agencies to conduct destruction of illicit cannabis cultivation, the official said.

Intensive enforcement efforts carried out by the NCB throughout India resulted in the crackdown on multiple drug trafficking networks operating in various states.

The concerted efforts in intelligence gathering and enforcement by the NCB have so far had a telling effect on the seizure of narcotic drugs.

Between August and the first week of October, the NCB has seized a total 10,700.5 kg ”Ganja” in various parts of the country.

A total of 1.18 kg of Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) has been seized by the NCB in the last two months.

There is a rapidly increasing popularity of MDMA, commonly known as  ”ecstasy”, in the country.

It is a party drug that alters mood and perception and is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens and produce feelings of increased energy and pleasure, the official said.

It is popular in big cities like Mumbai and Bangalore.

According to the UNODC World Drug Report 2020, ”ecstasy” continues to be manufactured primarily in Europe, mostly in western and central Europe.

Moreover, the synthetic opioids such as Tramadol are also gaining its space in drug abuse circle.

Besides, a total of 6,53,300 tablets of Tramadol were seized by the NCB in the last two months in Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

Due to increasing consumption and abuse of Tramadol, it was notified under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in 2018.

Another official said that Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are the traditional opium and poppy straw illegal trafficking states in India. However, Jharkhand has recently emerged as the hub of supply for illegal opium and poppy straw.

The hilly tracts of the state provide safe haven for the opium poppy cultivators and opium from this region finds its way to all over the country, including Haryana and Punjab.

A total of 58.5 kg opium and 1,092.4 kg poppy straw has been seized by the NCB in the last two months, the official said.

Two of the major cannabis cultivating regions are Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir and the two states are known for illegal production of high quality ”charas”. ”Charas” also known as ”Hashish” is extracted from cannabis plants.

The potent ”hashish” extracted from the cannabis plants cultivated in Parvati Valley of Kullu district is high in demand among drug abusers and is called ”Malana Cream”.

The NCB has seized a total of 163 kg of hashish in last two months, the official said.

The NCB has also seized 29.7 kg of heroin in last two months.

Heroin sourced from Afghanistan used to be sent through human carriers and swallowers who carry drugs by concealing in body or personal luggage.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the drug trafficking through courier parcels is gaining momentum.

The NCB has also seized two kg of cocaine in last two months.

The major sources of cocaine seized by the NCB have been routed through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and South Africa, the official said.

Cocaine is usually sent by courier parcels from African countries. The distribution network in Mumbai is under probe, which has possible linkages with high-profile users.

The contraband was concealed in a parcel containing tailoring material thread roll, the official said.

Source: New Indian Express. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/oct/20/naxalism-hit-areas-used-for-illegal-cannabis-cultivation-officials-2212739.html