Narcotic crops cultivated on more than 2,000 acres of land were destroyed and around 50 people arrested during a year-long drive in Awantipora area of Kashmir Valley, a senior police official said today.

“These crops are being cultivated over thousands of acres of land in the districts of Awantipora, Shopian, Pulwama and Anantnag. It is a multi-crore business. We have cleared this crop from Awantipora,” Superintendent of Police, Awantipora, Mohammad Irshad said.

“During the police action, 53 people involved in the narcotics trade were arrested and five vehicles seized,” he said.

“It took nearly a year to clear the areas where poppy and charas crop was cultivated and identify the people involved in its trade,” Mr. Irshad said.

Farmers used to sell poppy straw to dealers at Rs 1500 to Rs 5000 per kilogram, Mr. Irshad said.

“In Awantipora region, the cultivation was done on more than 2,000 acres of land,” he added.