Bhopal: As many as 35 drug peddlers were part of the farmers' stir in the first fortnight of June at Mandsaur, the epicentre of cultivators' unrest, an investigation by the Madhya Pradesh police has revealed.
Police has identified these drug peddlers among the protesters, who had been booked for violence during the farmers' agitation.
"We have identified 35 persons, accused of drug peddling in the past, who indulged in violence during the last month's farmers' protest. We have started arresting them," Mandsaur superintendent of police Manoj Kumar Singh said on Monday.
He said that they had booked people for violence in the farmers stir. "Now we are checking their records," he added.
All these 35 persons, mostly local residents, had been booked under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act in the past, the official said.
He said police have registered 99 separate cases related to arson and violence during the farmers' stir in Mandsaur in June.
"In some cases, the accused are unidentified and an exercise is on to identify them and check their dossiers," Singh added.
"We have arrested some of the persons accused of drug peddling in the past for violence during the farmers' unrest. I have to check out the number of such arrests as right now I don't have the figure with me," Singh said, adding, efforts are on to arrest the remaining ones.
According to police sources, a total ban on regulated opium farming and its business in Mandsaur and adjoining Neemuch district has rendered many people jobless since last two years.
The drug peddlers and people associated with the banned trade had participated and fanned the farmers' stir, feel the Madhya Pradesh police.
Mandsaur was once considered the opium hub of the nation.
After a total ban on opium, the officials in September 2016 destroyed poppy husk worth Rs 100 crore stuffed in 26 government warehouses of Mandsaur.
Punjab and Rajasthan were the major consumers of opium derivatives of Mandsaur and Neemuch districts.
Updated Date: Jul 03, 2017 22:45 PM