Police Raid Stops Poppy Cultivation

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Cooch Behar: Police on Thursday raided dry beds of the Torsha river on the outskirts of Cooch Behar and destroyed illegal poppy cultivation.

Plants spread over eight bighas were destroyed in the crackdown led by superintendent of police Bholanath Pandey.

“We have taken up the task to prevent such illegal cultivations. Such raids are going on for past few days and we have so far destroyed around 48 bighas of such plantations, along with cannabis plantations in another nine bighas of land. Also, poppy saplings planted in another 10 bighas of land have been destroyed,” said Pandey.

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Sources said opium latex is derived from poppy seedpods, which is later used to make heroin.

“In recent months, such cultivations are mushrooming in some of the rural pockets of Cooch Behar. This is because a section of farmers are desperate to make more money,” said a police source.

On Thursday, the police team, comprising officials from Kotwali and Pundibari police stations, trudged along the bank of Torsha and onto the dry river bed, covering a distance of around four kilometres over sand to reach the plantations.