The Bihar government has launched a drive against cultivation of opium in the state which is controlled by a gang from neighbouring West Bengal and will penalise persons involved in the illegal trade, the Legislative Assembly was informed on Monday.
Answering a call attention motion of Congress leader Sadanand Singh, Minister In-charge of Home Vijay Chaudhary said that opium cultivation has been spotted in Bhagalpur, Gaya and Saran districts.
He said police officials have come across farming of opium in 10 acres of land at Naughahia in Bhagalpur district and identified three land owners involved in the trade. Likewise, farming of opium was found on a tract of 30 acre of land at Barachatti in Gaya district and on 2 acre land at Dighwara in Saran district.
Chaudhary said while the three accused in Bhagalpur are still at large, one person has been arrested at Barachatti in Gaya and 2 at Dighwara in Saran under NDPS Act.
Sadanand Singh alleged that a gang from West Bengal was luring farmers to cultivate opium for which they provide cash of Rs. 10 lakh per acre. The minister said senior police officials would be asked to take action.