Mandi: In the biggest catch, Mandi police has recovered about 1,42,686 poppy plants (opium) spreading across 10 bighas of private and government land in Mandi district.

According to police, Superintendent of Police (SP) Mandi Shalini Agnihotri received secret information that a large area is covered by illegal cultivation of Poppy plants (Opium) in Sub-Tehsil Tikkan under the jurisdiction of Police Station Padhar (Drang).

On this specific information, a team was sent from Mandi to verify the same. On verification and confirmation, three different teams from Police Station Padhar, Special Investigation Unit and Security Branch Mandi were sent to the place for further action.

The teams on Monday left the police station at around 12:30 pm and reached the spot at around 4:00 pm after a long trek.

After reaching the spot, police found land that was covered with illicit cultivation of poppy plants.

Six case FIRs under section 18 of the NDPS Act have been registered so far at Police Station Padhar and samples have been taken from the spot for further examination. A team led by SDPO Padhar will take up the exercise to destroy the plants as per legal provisions. Local gram panchayat Pradhan and official Patwari from the Revenue Department was associated during this entire operation.

The entire operation took approximately 21 hours.

SP Mandi Shalini Agnihotri said that further investigation is being carried out.

She has requested the people to share such information secretly by dialling 9317221001 and help Mandi Police in the fight against drug abuse. The identity of the informer will be kept secret and police will also ensure the security of the informer.

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.