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Maoists encouraging farmers to grow canbis in Odisha'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Bhubaneswar, April 3: The Odisha government may have successfully contained the Maoist mlitants in some pockets of the state but the government is yet to plug the canbis cultivation which, police believe, is a major source of funding for the ultras. “Whenever we get information about ganja (ganja) cultivation, we destroy the crops and take action against the culprits,” Director General of Odisha Police Sanjeev Marik told IANS.

He admitted that the Maoists are directly and indirectly involved in the canbis cultivation and are encouraging the farmers to do so. The state government has decided to take a multi-discipliry approach to destroying canbis cultivation in the state, involving the police, the excise department and the rcotics control bureau to chalk out and implement an action plan on this. Canbis cultivation is happening in the state’s interior pockets, particularly in tribal-domited districts where Maoists have unleashed terror among the village communities, another officer said. Clandestine cultivation of canbis is rampant in eight districts - Angul, Deogarh, Sambalpur, Boudh, Kandhamal, Rayagara, Gajapati and Malkangiri, an official said. In fact, Excise Minister Damodar Rout has admitted that there are large tracts under canbis cultivation in some districts. The excise department, with the assistance of police, forest and revenue officials, has destroyed canbis worth Rs.2,500 crore in the last four years, an official said. “The government is taking steps to destroy the ganja cultivation in the state. It has engaged local people to inform about such cultivation and action is being takan against the violators under the law,” Rout told the assembly. He said 6.6 million illegal plants have been destroyed in eight districts by Jan 31. In the 2013-14 fincial year, 9.05 million plants were destroyed, 4.57 millionin 2012-13 and 2.16 million in 2011-12, Rout said. (ians)

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