In a 17-hour operation over the last two days, four police teams from Padhar discovered three hilltops coated in full-bloom poppy plants and demolished the fields, according to police.
As per Mandi SP Shalini Agnihotri, the police department got a tip about a large area in the Chauhar valley covered in poppy fields. Following an initial reconnaissance mission on Wednesday, four police teams arrived in Garh village, Tikken sub-tehsil, on Thursday to find a stretch of ground where poppy plants were being grown illegally.
The teams climbed on through heavy rain and hailstorms, reaching the first hilltop after a three-hour hike, according to the SP. Then they plummeted and climbed the next two peaks, discovering that poppy plants had taken over 66 bighas of government and private property. “Around 15 lakh opium plants were discovered during the raid, and several samples were confiscated on the place. Agnihotri said, “The surviving plants have been burned.”
She claims that one bigha of land produces around five to six kilograms of opium, which is then sold in the market for about Rs 3 lakh per kilogram. According to the police officer, about 330 kilos of opium could have been processed in this field, with a market value of about Rs 10 crore.
At the Padhar police station, four cases have been filed under section 18 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, and an investigation is ongoing.