Agartala, Nov 25, 2022, ENEWSTIME Desk
Youth wing volunteers of the Mizo Convention based on a tip-off from their own sources, detained two vehicles with smuggled foreign areca nuts at Sabual village late Thursday night.
The dry areca nuts, 115 bags in all, appeared to be transported from its makeshift storage facility at Rajiv Nagar village of Mamit District, Mizoram. The two trucks carrying the confiscated product have registration numbers TR-02 C-1870 (carrying 55 bags) and MZ-04 A-5299 (carrying 60 bags). The two trucks were escorted by Bijoy Sangma and Raja Sabdakar using another vehicle (number TR-02 A-2884).
Further interrogation of the drivers and other persons involved revealed the owner of the confiscated illegal areca nuts is a woman - R. Lalduhawmi of Chaltlang Lily Veng, Aizawl, Mizoram. The intention of the smugglers was to take the product to Agartala, and from there sell and transport it into Bangladesh.
As soon as the volunteers got hold of the smugglers and their illegal smuggled product, the OC of Vanghmun PS was intimated and an FIR was lodged. The smugglers and the areca nuts were taken to Vanghmun PS, unloaded, searched, inspected and verified for any other possible smuggled item. Legal proceedings will be initiated as per the law and protocols.
The smuggling of illegal foreign dry areca nuts has been going on for quite some time now, and it appears that it is a big business with the involvement of a lot of people including those in high posts and positions of power.
The worst thing is that local areca nut farmers are badly affected due to illegal smuggling, as they are now unable to sell and transport their commodity, which was once considered as green gold.
As of now, the local areca nut farmers are helplessly watching their over-ripe areca nuts falling from the trees and being dumped as waste. The livelihood of the areca nut farmers in Jampui Hill and other parts of North Tripura is badly affected and they are crying and starving.
Because of this serious and negative economic impact on the farmers, Dr Zairemthiama Pachuau, General Secretary of Jampui Hill Mizo Convention, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 21 last, intimating the current crisis being faced by the farmers.
In response, the Central Government instructed the State Government to act on the matter through the office of the Director General of Police, Tripura. Also, on November, 2 last, the leaders of Jampui Hill Farmers Union (JamFU), met Chief Minister Dr (Prof) Manik Saha in his chamber and urged him to solve the farmers' crisis. The CM in response promised the leaders of taking action in his capacity for an immediate solution to the problem. However, it is unfortunate that the farmers’ problems still remain unsolved.
The farmers have no other choice and are likely to initiate a massive mass movement very soon if their problem continues to remain unaddressed, a group of farmers commented.