The Mizo Convention Youth Wing on volunteer duty intercepted, blocked and seized a huge quantity of illegally-smuggled foreign arecanuts at Sabual Village on the night of Thursday last.
Acting on a tip-off, the dry 115 arecanuts, appeared to be transported from their makeshift storage facility at Rajiv Nagar village of Mamit District, Mizoram.
The two trucks carrying the confiscated product had registration numbers TR02C-1870 carrying 55 bags and MZ04A-5299 carrying 60 bags. The two trucks are being escorted by Bijoy Sangma and Raja Sabdakar using vehicle number TR02A-2884.
Further, interrogation of the drivers revealed that the owner of the confiscated illegal arecanuts is R Lalduhawmi of Chaltlang Lily Veng, Aizawl in Mizoram. The intention of the smugglers is to take the product to Agartala, and from there sell and transport into Bangladesh.
Regarding the same, a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged at the Vanghmun Police Station. Following this, the smugglers and the arecanuts were taken to Vanghmun police station, unloaded, searched, inspected and verified for any other possible smuggled item. Legal proceeding will be initiated as per the law and protocols.
Smuggling of illegal foreign dry arecanuts has been going on for quite sometime now, and it appears that it is a big business with involvement of a lot of people including those in high posts and positions of power.
The worst thing is that because of this illegal smuggling, local arecanut farmers are badly affected as they are now unable to sell and transport their commodity, which was once considered a green gold.
As of now, the local arecanut farmers are helplessly watching their over-ripe arecanuts falling from the trees and being dumped as trash. The livelihood of the arecanut farmers in Jampui Hill and other parts of North Tripura are badly affected and they are crying and starving.
Because of this fatal and negative economic impact on the farmers, Dr Zairemthiama Pachuau, General Secretary of Jampui Hill Mizo Convention, wrote to the 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.
Additionally, on November 02 last, leaders of Jampui Hill Farmers Union (JamFU), met the Chief Minister Prof Dr Manik Saha in his chamber and pleaded with him to solve the farmers’ crisis. The CM in response promised the leaders of taking action in his capacity for immediate solution to the problem. However, it has been unfortunate that the farmers’ problems still remain unsolved up to this time.
The farmers have no other choice and are likely to initiate a mass movement very soon, if their problem continues to remain unaddressed.