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Poppy husk buyers from Punjab go on rampage in Rajasthan
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, April 22
Hundreds of poppy husk consumers from Punjab went on rampage in Mayapuri in Sriganganagar in Rajasthan, about 40 km from Abohar, as the district administration banned the sale of the husk to non-permit holders.

Government officials say there are 3,000 permit holders, but in the last few days there have been unending queues at the licensed retail outlets.

The trouble started around 3 pm when District Collector RS Jakhar rejected the demand that those who had come from Punjab towns be provided poppy husk. Most such consumers had come from as far as Pathankot, Tarn Taran, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Moga. The DC said only those with permits from Rajasthan would get the prescribed "dose".

Those addicted to poppy husk were seen repeatedly requesting the DC to allow them their "dose". "Sahib ik pudi tan dwa deo" (please allow one pouch at least," a young man requested the DC.

The administration arranged 250 quintals of poppy husk for the border district today. The trouble began when the consumers alleged the husk was being sold in the black. A mob reportedly attacked a fair price shop in Mayapuri, and threw stones at policemen. The rioters also damaged a vehicle of the Excise Department and also attacked media persons.

Sources said eight persons were injured in the violence. The mob dispersed after police reinforcement arrived. Sources said some Punjab Police and Home Guards men were also seen pushing others in the queues to arrange poppy husk. Reports said a villager from Lilawali (Hanumangarh) struggling to get his share of the drug for five days ended his life by jumping before the Bikaner-Bathinda train. Sources said at least three persons have died in the last few days as they were unable to get their “dose”.

The trigger

A large number of poppy husk consumers from Punjab had queued up at licensed retail outlets in Sriganganagar, Rajasthan. Trouble started when the District Collector refused to provide poppy husk to those who had come from Punjab towns, saying they were permitted to give the husk only to licence holders.





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