In the dense forests of Khunti how opium is grown to fund naxalites
In the dense forests of Khunti district in Jharkhand, there are villagers who are walking back home with quick money. It is quite strange when a large number of villagers from the state of Jharkhand have migrated to other places in search of employment, this small district has the population intact.
The rice-belts in the naxal-affected areas in Jharkhand were barren and this forced the farmers out of the place to explore better avenues. However these areas have seen a trend-reversal in the past few days and the villagers are back.
Every field today has opium plantation and this according to security officials is being done with the help of the naxalites. The proceeds from the opium are taken by the naxalites to fund their operations.
The villagers are back:
Nothing grew on these lands for the past couple of years. This was not only because of a bad monsoon. Most villagers left the villagers due to the fear of naxalites. The naxalites on the other hand realised that there was no point in threatening farmers and invited them back. There was however a catch.
The farmers were told to grow their produce as they wished, but the catch was that they grew opium as well. Today the naxalites back the villagers and help them grow the produce.
In the midst of all the opium, the villagers have been growing, guava, litchi, turmeric and chilli. The farmer makes a quick buck by selling the opium. He gets Rs 40,000 per 1 kilogram. This is not even one per cent of the market cost. The major chunk of the money is made by the naxalites who transports the produce to states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh where there is very high demand.
It is a win-win situation for both the naxalites and the villagers.