Enclaves new hub of cannabis cultivation
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At least 1,000 bighas in the Bangladeshi enclaves in Cooch Behar district have replaced paddy, wheat or jute with cannabis this year
Taking advantage of the total absence of any administrative setup or law enforcing agencies, residents of the Bangladeshi and Indian enclaves have taken to widespread cultivation of cannabis this season. The enclaves are like no-man's land and the residents stateless, without any identity, since the geographical boundaries are yet to be clearly demarcated between the two countries.
According to secret "inputs" reaching police agencies in Kolkata, residents have cultivated the banned crop from which various kinds of drugs are produced. According to an approximate estimate of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), cannabis have been grown on at least 1,000 bighas of land in the Bangladeshi enclaves in Cooch Behar district in north Bengal. Paddy, wheat or jute, almost all got replaced in cultivable lands this year.
The Bangladeshi enclaves in India which are treated as foreign land do not have the rule of law and the administration cannot enter the enclaves to control the farming of cannabis in the area. Even though the protocol on enclave exchange has been signed in September, 2011, the enclave dwellers are still waiting for the exchange treaty to be implemented. Significantly, the Enclave Exchange bill is not likely to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament.
According to a senior official of NCB, the residents of the enclaves have links with several narcotic dealers in the city who sponsor the cultivation of the banned crop there as the land is out of the reach of the police and administration. Diptiman Sengupta, secretary of Indo-Bangladesh enclave exchange coordination committee said, "The residents of the enclaves have to survive. We have waited for a long time and we are still patient. Last year, we resisted several narcotic dealers from entering the enclaves and fixing a deal here. However, this year, we did not resist them. We have to think how the population of 50,000 will survive if the government does not care for them."