The Jammu and Kashmir government Saturday initiated action against the illegal cultivation of poppy and bung in the upper reaches of Kupwara.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, Rajeev Ranjan said that administration has started destroying poppy and bung cultivation in the forests in Kupwara district.
" Several teams comprising officials from Police, revenue , forest and excise department today destroyed bung and poppy cultivation," he said adding " I cannot give exact details of land on which poppy crops were destroyed but our officials are on job and by evening I would get exact details."
He said that district administration has directed the police to initiate the action against the people involved in cultivating poppy crops.
Action was initiated a day after Greater Kashmir had carried a news story on increasing cultivation of poppy plants in forests of Kupwara.
Divisional Forest Officer, Kupwara, Muhammad Ayoub Sheikh said that 100 kanals of forest land under poppy and bungs plants have been retrieved.
" Destruction of poppy and bung plants is going on and forest department in future would establish check post and observatory points in order stop any such activity as it is difficult to monitor upper reaches of forests," he said adding that in coming days all the poppy and bung plants would be destroyed and land would be retrieved.
Meanwhile the police have also been directed by the district administration to maintain strict vigil on the forest areas so that no incidents such as cultivation of addictive substances are undertaken by unscrupulous elements.
A senior police official told Greater Kashmir that they working in tandem with civil administration to prevent any law and order problem.
Greater Kashmir had reported wide forest tracts in the upper reaches of north Kashmir's Kupwara district have been cleared off the trees for poppy and bung cultivation.
Sources informed Greater Kashmir that upper reaches of Lolab area of Kupwara have become hub of bung (cannabis) and poppy cultivation. "Further, the adjoining areas such as Nagmarg bordering on Bandipora district are also witnessing increase in cultivation of poppy plants."
"It is believed that some influential people from Devar and Dardpora villages of Lolab are involved in growing poppy and then selling it at various places across the state and outside," sources alleged.
"Green trees are chopped to clear space for making land cultivable in Nagmarg area which adjoins Bumus meadow of Bandipora district. Several hundred kanals of forest land earlier were converted into agriculture land. But now some unscrupulous elements in the area have started cultivating poppy and bung," said a local resident of Devar village.