Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Maoist opium

No the Maoist Communists haven't become religious -- they have gotten into the business of peddling opium to finance their recreational activities of murdering and looting.

Maoists peddle opium crop (The Pioneer, Pioneer links do not work after a day)


Maoists peddle opium crop

Nityanand Shukla / Ranchi

The drought-stricken farmers of Jharkhand have found sympathisers in the
Maoists who are actively helping them "improve" their economic condition
while ensuring protection from the police.

These farmers are now growing opium with the help of Maoist ultras in
order to get an assured return for their produce. According to the police,
opium is being widely grown in Chatra, Palamau and Hazaribagh districts.

The going is not easy for the police and it had to face a tough time when
it went to destroy the opium crop in Pathalgada and Barwadah villages of
Chatra district last week. Some policemen were held captive for hours and
were released only when the other policemen retreated from the villages.

Chatra Superintendent of Police (SP) Shashinath Jha was reported to have
said, "There are reports that opium is being grown by farmers with the
help of Maoist guerrillas. They grow the opium inside wheat fields so that
it cannot be traced by the police."

According to police, opium is grown in Simaria block, Pathalgada,
Barwadah, Giddor of Chatra district and Charhi and Ichak of Hazaribagh
district. "These areas are only the tip of the iceberg. It is possible
that opium is being grown on a large scale in other parts of the State.
And the real beneficiaries are the Maoist ultras who corner lucrative
returns from drug peddlers" said a police official at the State
headquarters.

He said, "The Nepal border in Bihar is a transit point for drug peddlers
who are given a safe passage by the Maoists. The opium grown in Jharkhand
is supplied to Bihar and from Bihar it reaches Nepal and other
destinations."

Jharkhand's farmers are easily lured into the business because the land is
not fertile and the State faces a drought almost every year. The farmers
get their share from the opium business while Maoists directly who smuggle
it to the drug peddlers are paid hefty amounts. Police officials point out
that opium cultivation has witnessed a surge in recent times after the
State was carved out from Bihar in November 2000.

Although opium cultivation is banned, it assures farmers the quickest
returns. Experts point out that opium grows in only 100 days, a kilogram
of opium fetching up to Rs 25,000 to a farmer. Incidentally, a kilogram of
opium can be grown in a mere 1000 sq ft land. The demand too is perpetual
since the crop is banned,

"The cause of surge in opium cultivation is that it is changing the lives
of the farmers as they are getting hefty returns. This in turn is helping
the Maoists generate revenue for subversive activities" said a police
official.

Jharkhand's farmers are easily lured into the business because the land is
not fertile and the State faces a drought almost every year. The farmers
get their share from the opium business while Maoists directly who smuggle
it to the drug peddlers are paid hefty amounts. Police officials point out
that opium cultivation has witnessed a surge in recent times after the
State was carved out from Bihar in November 2000.

Although opium cultivation is banned, it assures farmers the quickest
returns. Experts point out that opium grows in only 100 days, a kilogram
of opium fetching up to Rs 25,000 to a farmer. Incidentally, a kilogram of
opium can be grown in a mere 1000 sq ft land. The demand too is perpetual
since the crop is banned,

"The cause of surge in opium cultivation is that it is changing the lives
of the farmers as they are getting hefty returns. This in turn is helping
the Maoists generate revenue for subversive activities" said a police
official.
Tags: MAOISTS COMMUNIST-CRIMES

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