January 11, 2024

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Poppy straw in cattle feed: Recent drug seizures point towards rise in use of psychotropic substances | India News

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Psychotropic substances such as poppy straw has seen an uptick when it comes to seizures of drugs by authorities in the last few years. Over 10,000 kg of poppy straw, under the cover of cattle feed, has been seized by the Central Bureau of Narcotics in the last one year, with over 6,000 kg of it being held in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh this week.

Most of the poppy straw — the husk left after extraction of opium from the pods — has been seized in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

In the latest seizure on Sunday, a vehicle was intercepted on the Udaipur-Bhilwara highway carrying 120 bags of cattle feed as cover cargo to conceal the poppy straw. “The truck was thoroughly searched at the CBN Office and a total of 267 plastic bags of Poppy Straw weighing 5057.300 kg was recovered. After completion of legal formalities, the recovered Poppy Straw along with cattle feed and trailer were seized and one person was arrested under the relevant provisions of NDPS Act, 1985,” a statement said.

In another instance, the authorities seized 1131.90 kg poppy straw in 57 plastic bags on Saturday after searching a house in Dhakdi village, Pipaliya Mandi, in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district.

The Central Bureau of Narcotics, which is responsible for supervision over illicit cultivation of opium poppy, issuance of licence for narcotics drugs and investigation of cases under the NDPS Act, had earlier reported seizure of 3,025 kg of poppy straw on the Mandsaur-Neemuch road in October 2023 and 2,597 kg of seizure in Gujarat in June last year.

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In 2023, record high anti-narcotics operations were undertaken with 116 seizure cases in which 150 people were arrested and 87 vehicles seized, Central Bureau of Narcotics said. The total drugs seizure was of 70 tonne (70,000 kg) including poppy straw (doda chura), opium (afeem), heroin (brown sugar), cannabis (ganja). Around Rs 1 crore cash was also recovered during these operations, it said.

Poppy straw is one of the narcotic drugs under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. Anyone possessing, selling, purchasing or using poppy straw without a licence or authorisation or in violation of any conditions of the licence is liable to be prosecuted. Poppy straw also contains a very small morphine content and if used in sufficient quantities, gives a high effect like other drugs.

The Central Bureau of Narcotics had last year also carried out Operation Prahaar under which 10,326 hectares (25,526 acres) of illicit opium field was destroyed in Arunachal Pradesh (8,501 hectares) and Manipur (1,825 hectares).

In September 2023, while announcing the annual licensing policy for crop year 2023-24 for cultivation of opium poppy, for farmers in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the government had said about 27,000 new farmers are expected to get licence.

“Nearly 1.12 lakh farmers in these three states are anticipated to be given licences, with inclusion of 27,000 additional farmers over and above the previous crop year,” the finance ministry had said in the statement.

The Narcotics Control Bureau, which is the other central coordinating agency for substances under the NDPS Act and which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs, seized 192 kg of opium in 2022 along with seizure of 6,833 kg of poppy straw and 45,850 kg of ganja among other seized drugs. In 2021, NCB had seized 445 kg of opium, 5,804 kg of poppy straw and 55,883 kg of ganja.

State

Quantity of poppy straw seized

Udaipur-Bhilwara Highway, Rajasthan

(January 7, 2024)

5,057.30 kg

Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh

(January 6, 2024)

1131.90 kg

Mandsaur-Neemuch road

(October 7, 2023)

3,025 kg

Vadodara, Gujarat

(June 1, 2023)

2,597 kg

Mehsana, Gujarat

(May 30, 2023)

4,433 kg

Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh

(September 26, 2022)

1,083.15 kg

Kota/Jaipur, Rajasthan

(May 29, 2022)

2225.10 Kg

Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh

(May 28, 2022)

2,302 Kg

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