RANCHI: Rebels allegedly belonging to CPI (Maoist) have launched a poster campaign in Latehar to refute allegations of their involvement in promoting opium cultivation. The posters have been pasted in Bandhua and Palheya village under Manika police station of Latehar.
The campaign comes amid the arrest of four opium peddlers, two each in Latehar and Chatra district, on Wednesday. The authorities have also been destroying opium fields over the last couple of weeks.
In the posters – both handwritten and printed – pasted at a public place in Bandhua village and on walls of health sub-centre in Palheya village, the Maoists have appealed to the villagers to keep away from opium cultivation. “Opium cannot provide you with regular income, and those involved in propaganda that Maoists encourage opium cultivation are themselves promoting it,” the posters read.
The Maoist posters have also warned people and special police officers (SPOs) against working in the hands of security forces. “The nexus between Tritiya Prastuti Committee, Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad and the police will soon be exposed.” “Stop defaming Maoists for opium cultivation,” the posters mentioned.
One of the Maoist cadres in Latehar said opium cultivation is rampant in Herhanj, Bariyatu, Manika, Balumath and Latehar police station areas, where villagers are lured to cultivate the flower to make quick money. “Our party survives on support of the common people. We do not want them to take up opium cultivation as it would leave them with practically no source of regular income,” he said. He also accused the breakaway Maoist factions JJMP and TPC of supporting such practices.
Latehar police said that soon after obtaining information about posters being pasted in some villages under Manika police station, the local police and CRPF were asked to visit the village and remove them immediately.
Meanwhile, Chatra SDPO Gyan Ranjan confirmed the arrest of two opium peddlers identified as Ghanashyam Sao and Sunil Yadav near Baraini more on Wednesday. Police seized 8.3kg opium, two mobile phones and a bike from their possession.
Based on the information provided by the duo, the police arrested two more interstate opium peddlers identified as Vinod Prasad and Madan Prasad of Bariyatu village in Latehar. The two had come to receive a consignment of opium from Chatra. Police seized Rs1.08 Lakh and two mobile phones from their possesion.
Ranjan refused to comment if those arrested had an allegiance with CPI (Maoist) . “It is a matter of investigation, but as of now we have arrested them for dealing in drugs,” he said.
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/maoist-posters-shift-poppy-blame-on-splinter-groups/articleshow/57425883.cms