Over 12 lakh plants of cannabis have been destroyed by the police in Himachal Pradesh since January last year, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Sunday.
In a statement issued here, he said that during the period from January 1 last year to April 30 this year, the police have detected and destroyed 12.5 lakh cannabis plants that were being illegally cultivated on more than 7,900 bighas of land in the state.
Cultivation of cannabis is currently illegal in Himachal, although the state government may soon allow the controlled cultivation of hemp for non-narcotic purposes.
Thakur also said that around 18 lakh poppy plants have also been found and destroyed in the state since January last year. Most of them were found recently in Chauhar valley in Mandi, when police teams came across three hilltops covered with poppy.
He said that more than 2,900 people have been arrested in drug-related cases during this period, and cases were also registered against landowners in case of illicit cultivation of the plants.
“Financial investigations were conducted to attach the movable and immovable properties acquired out of proceeds of drug trade. The state has succeeded in attaching and freezing properties worth Rs 11.4 crore in 19 cases during the last one year,” he said, adding that the police department may team up with the enforcement directorate (ED) for conducting money laundering probes in drug cases.