Bhung cultivation unabated in Bijbehara
More Villages Turn To Trade; Authorities In Slumber
Islamabad, Oct 12: Notwithstanding the tall claims of the Excise Department and police officials of launching a major drive against the Bhung cultivation across the valley, thousands of Kanals of land in many areas of Bijbehara continue to be under the cultivation of the crop.
Tall lush green plants of Bung at its ripening stage could be seen on large patches of agriculture and horticulture land in many villages of Bijbehara.
Though, the authorities last week initiated a drive against the crop in some villages, however, the drive was insufficient as the contraband exists over hundreds of Kanals, locals said. Locals alleged that a drive was started in Kradigam as the authorities engaged 15 tractors to remove the bhung. “However, after a few hours the work was suspended without any reason,” they said.
Alleging nexus between the Excise department and the people involved in the bhung trade, locals alleged that the officials were bribed to halt the work, “Despite our repeated pleas to continue with the drive to destroy the bhung, the officials as well as the people involved threatened us of dire consequences,” they alleged.
Pertinently, last year it was estimated that in Bijbehara constituency alone, 80 percent of the villages are under the cultivation of this crop.
A major chunk of land both agriculture and horticulture is under Bung cultivation in Kradigam, Dupatyar, Ghantalipora,Thajiwara, Takiabal, Kandipora, Upsan, Kanilwan, Laribal, Hayar, Waghama, Satkipora,Kanelwan, Semthan, Veeri, Naboog Sallar, Kullar, Srigufwara, Wachi, Kawun, Bandina, Dangripora and Tulkhun.
While the Excise department successfully destroyed a major chunk of bhung, however, some blue eyed persons were spared, locals alleged.
“If anybody raises voice against these influential smugglers, they are harassed and threatened,” locals said.
Sources in the excise department said the government instead of curbing the drug mafia was encouraging its promotion.
It should be noted that until last year the revenue department had put the number of Kanals under the use of this crop across the valley at 11,000 Kanals, however it is lot more than that.
“In Kandigam village of Bijbehara, the most notorious village in Charas smuggling, 145 out of 150 families are cultivating the crop while in another nearby village Dupatyar 213 out of 220 families are involved,” sources said adding even the women and children are involved in this trade.
These agencies, thus according to them provide a free hand to the influential Bung cultivators, sources added.
However, the officials of the Excise department maintain that they are not being provided logistic support by the government for destruction of the crop.
When contacted excise and taxation officer, Ghulam Muhammad Bhat said, “Recently we destroyed bhung on huge chunk of land in many villages of Bijbehara. But, now we have been informed that there is still a good area of land in Kradigam under the cultivation of crop and within few days we will destroy it completely”.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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