Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Illegal opium trade could be funding Maoists

22 Jun 2009, 2311 hrs IST, Pradeep Thakur, TNN


NEW DELHI: The government seems to be drawing a parallel between rising acreage of illegal opium cultivation and the mounting terror of Red ultras —
both now spread across a dozen-odd states. Sporadic reports, coinciding with anti-narcotics operations, suggest that part of the proceeds from the illicit trade goes into funding of Maoist insurgency.

Weeks before the Red ultras called for a bandh in five states to protest against the ongoing crackdown by paramilitary forces, the Director General Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (DGCEIB) had written to all chief secretaries and heads of anti-narcotics agencies and departments concerned urging them to initiate steps to eradicate cultivation of illicit opium that has now spread over 10 states.

The Centre had provided satellite images and shared other inputs pinpointing areas where opium crop was grown on large tracts running into thousands of hectares.

The government had asked the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), under the home ministry, to provide coordinates such states — West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Karnataka.

The areas in the first four states where illicit opium cultivation has been reported are wracked by Maoist insurgency. Security agencies don't rule out the fact that Maoists are not only benefiting from the illicit trade but in many parts the crop is being cultivated under their supervision.

The Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN), under the department of revenue in the finance ministry which oversees legitimate cultivation of opium in the country, has been asked to provide coordinates for five hill states of Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, J&K, Uttarakhand and Manipur.

Last week, CBN, excise officials and state police were involved in an operation to destroy illicit cultivation of opium poppy on 1,100 hectares in Pulwama district in J&K. Just before the J&K action, officials had destroyed illicit crop on 600 hectares in similar clean-up operations in Himachal Pradesh.

Both the J&K and Himachal crops were enough to produce several tonnes of Afghan-variety heroin worth millions of dollars in the European market. The wide cultivation is believed to have now spread across six districts in the state reflecting badly on the government's anti-narcotics checks.

Agencies had earlier carried out operations in West Bengal, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh among other states and destroyed crops over thousands of hectares. In West Bengal's Midnapore and Nadia districts, CBN had destroyed crops over 6,500 hectares in 2007.

1 comment:

binaryFusion said...

Long Marxist tradition. Funding peoples revolutions with drug/narcotic money. Lenin, Trotsky, The Great Helmsman Mao, Good old Uncle Ho, Flamboyant Fidel Castro, Romantic Che, Elusive Guzmán (Shining Path, Peru) all had their nice little poppy plantations and opium business.

Ref- The Black Book of Communism : Crimes, Terror, Repression By Stéphane Courtois et al. Harvard University Press.

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/COUBLA.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism

Lalgarh Maoists are paying tidy little sums from their drug money to their apologists BuddhU Bhatta, aKash Karat, JUtO BasU, Jaya MUtro, MahasROta BHabi.... etc.