Kullu’s Malana village to impose Rs 1-lakh fine for drug peddling
Malana, an ancient village in scenic Kullu district which is infamous for its cannabis production, has now resolved to fine the villagers and others indulging in narcotic trade.india Updated: Feb 20, 2017 10:25 IST
Malana, an ancient village in scenic Kullu district which is infamous for its cannabis production, has now resolved to fine the villagers and others indulging in narcotic trade.
Panchayat ban will come into effect from February 25 after gram sabha finally adopts a resolution to fine villagers indulging in narcotic trade that has flourished leaps and bounds over the years.
“The panchyat has resolved to ban smoking as well and it will fine people indulging smuggling of contraband. Actually, village people are innocent and hence, they have always been exploited. Panchayat has decided to impose a fine of Rs 1 lakh on those indulging in narcotic trade,” panchayat pradhan Malana Baghi Ram told Hindustan Times.
“Earlier also, we brought a resolution to prohibit photography in the panchayat, but due to lack of quorum, it could not be adopted. We have also resolved that outsiders will not be allowed to document the village life as our village is being potrayed in negatively in this cyber world,” says Bhagi Ram.
“Malana had banned locals from employing Nepalese labour, who they see as conduit engaged drug cartels. Malana villagers draw their lineage from the famous Greek king Alexander. The legend has it when Alexander raided India, he passed through treacherous mountains in Kullu and few of his soldiers were unable to travel further, so they stayed back in Malana village. The village has its own parliament system comprising Jayeshthang and lower house Kanishthang . The upper house consists of three permanent members and eight temporary members, while the lower house has the eldest member from each family. Both the houses have decided to ban the photography as well as fine persons indulging in narcotic trade,” he said.
The villagers extract hashish from the plant of cannabis sativa - it has been sold at exorbitantly high rates to drug cartels active in Parvati valley for over last four decades. The hashish brand - Malana cream - is famous world over. Malana cream has given a boost to narco-tourism in the ancient village, that was in oblivion till late eighties. Traditionally, the Malanav villagers used hemp fiber to make basket ropes and slippers, which were sold in the market . But the visiting foreigners to the land locked village taught the villagers to rub cannabis plant to extract intoxicating resin. Foreigners’ lessons on extracting charas seemingly changed the life of people in this culturally-rich village. Villagers then took up the drug trade to turn their fortune.
The government annually launches statewide campaign to destroy cannabis. This year, it destroyed cannabis on 500 bighas of land . The villagers with changing time have been struggling hard to shed off the cannabis tag, but at the same time, the successive government’s plans to wean them away from narctic trade are just gathering dust. The government had proposed to rehabilitate the villagers, but so far nothing has been done on the ground.