Agartala: All kinds of rubber related trading and export activities in the second-highest rubber-producing State in the country will come to a halt from tomorrow as the rubber dealers decided to stop working from Saturday to protest against “unnecessary harassment” by the Narcotics Department.
Rubber is one of the most valuable items in Tripura that earns huge revenue for the State and creates a large number of employment but the product hardly has any market in the State. This forces the dealers to send the entire produce outside the State where manufacturing units are located.
The dealers are finding it difficult to send the items as some drug dealers in connivance with some truck drivers are smuggling ganja hidden underneath rubber sheets. Whenever the matter is detected, the Narcotics Department starts harassing the dealers, holding them responsible.
Subrata Saha, secretary of the All Tripura Rubber Dealers Association, in a press conference said they load the rubber sheets on the trucks with good faith that the driver will deliver the goods in specific destinations outside the State. This practice has been going on for many years but in recent times, some narcotic smugglers started using these vehicles to smuggling ganja clandestinely.
It has become a major problem for the rubber dealers and they have earlier demanded police escort from the inter-state truck depot at Jirania to Churaibari, the last checkpoint of the State to ensure that the drivers can’t take ganja in the vehicles.
The government has not taken any steps, forcing the dealers to halt all trading activities for an indefinite period. “We had to take this decision to protect ourselves and our dignity,” Saha said.