Six vehicles carrying areca nuts burnt down in Mizoram
Aizawl, December 10, 2022
Six vehicles carrying dry areca nuts were burnt down by "unidentified people" in Mamit district of Mizoram on Saturday, the police said.
Mamit district Superintendent of police Lalthangpuii Pulamte said that no one was injured in the incident and none arrested yet.
"The six vehicles carrying the dry areca nuts, not locally grown, contained 20 cartons and 122 big bags. Police are yet to ascertain their destinations and have not yet identified the traders of these products," Pulamte told IANS.
She said that the police investigating the incidents and further details would be known after completion of the probe.
Another police official said that the trucks were set ablaze between Zawlnuam and Zamuang villages of Mamit District, bordering Assam, Tripura and Bangladesh.
The burning of the trucks happened two days after Mizoram Rajya Sabha MP K. Vanlalvena raised the plight of Mizoram and Tripura areca nut growers in Parliament.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Vanlalvena said that a majority of farmers in western Mizoram and the Jampui hills of Tripura have been depending on areca nut plantation as their main source of income for the past many decades.
"The market for areca nuts produced from Mizoram and Tripura was badly affected this year after the Assam government launched a crackdown on arecanut smuggled from Myanmar. However, the areca nut grown in Mizoram and Tripura had to transport in the other states of the country through the Assam territory only," the Rajya Sabha member had said.
He said that the Assam government was acting on the instructions of the Union Home Ministry to curb illegal import of areca nuts from Myanmar.
While appreciating the central government's move to curb illegally imported areca nuts, Vanlalvena urged that areca nuts (also known as betel nut or 'supari') produced in the northeast region should be allowed to sell anywhere in India, and that they (locally grown areca nuts) should not be mistaken for illegally imported ones.
The illicit trade of areca nut is on the rise with the security forces, including the Assam Rifles, often seizing thousands of tonnes of the product, along with drugs, exotic animals and other goods smuggled in from Myanmar.
The representatives of the Mizoram Church Leaders Committee on Monday recently discussed the areca nut transportation issue with Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs, John Barla, in Aizawl.