Tripura police to use drone technology to combat cannabis cultivation

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The Northeastern state Tripura had been facing challenges to curb cannabis plantation in the state. However, recently Tripura’s law enforcement found the solution to identify and map cannabis plantation through the use of drone technology. Drone equipped with wide-angle cameras would be deployed by trained operators to identify those remote areas where cannabis plantation is done in the state.

The Tripura state police have already initiated this project as a test program. Several police officers from the state received specialized training in South Tripura district. They are concentrating their efforts on two specific areas within the district, namely Sabroom and Belonia. These areas are located near the borders and have been grappling with problems related to smuggling and the illicit cultivation of cannabis.

It is well-known that cannabis cultivation is prohibited in India, yet people in the remote areas of some of the northeastern states have been cultivating it for a source of income. In such situations, people in these areas have often resisted the entry of security forces to safeguard their income source from cannabis. Now, with the introduction of drones to monitor cannabis plantations, confrontations between law enforcement agencies and local people involved in cannabis cultivation will be reduced.

South District Police using Drone Cameras at Reserve Forest area and suspicious places to locate canvas/ Ganja plantation @Tripura_Police

— SP South Tripura District (@SPSouth2) August 31, 2023

Cannabis plantation usually takes place deep in the forest or in low-lying areas where police monitoring is very limited. But with the use of flying drones, exact coordinates of these areas can be easily tracked down enabling security forces to devise a plan to curb cannabis plantation. Besides the location, the drones would also help security forces to identify the size of the plantation area.

The state’s police department is working on a large-scale training program for the purpose. They want to train a lot of their officers how to use drones properly and equip them with these modern gadgets. Some groups of officers have already finished their training with experts in this area. They plan to start using drones for different policing activities like potential crime detection, catching criminals, handling crowds, and maintaining law and order. A senior police officer confirmed that all of this will start happening next year.

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