Excise officers harassing drug users unnecessarily: CoNE

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 17 : Claiming that a group of Excise officials have been habitually targeting drug users as source of their clandestine revenue, Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE) has appealed the authority concerned  to take cognizance of such extortion racket and arrest the individuals involved  at the earliest.
Speaking to media persons at Press Club Imphal, CoNE president, RK Nalinikanta asserted that the extortion racket has been going on for almost 10 years now.
CoNE have the statements of the victims who are now lodged at a rehab centre to corroborate the claim of rampant extortion, he claimed.
The victims were arrested by one person who identified himself as an officer of the Narcotics Department. According to the victims, the arresting team wore casual dresses and came in unmarked Gypsy and i-20 car, he alleged.
Later the victims were charged of possessing heroin which the arresting team had brought, he alleged.
The victims were then taken to the Excise Commissioner’s Station at Lamphelpat along with their vehicles and informed their parents about the 'fabricated' incident, Nalinikanta claimed.
He alleged that the arresting team demanded Rs 20,000 per person for the release of the victims and vehicles.
However, the victims and the vehicles were released in the care of rehab centre after a payment of Rs 5,000 each, Nalinikanta said.
He also claimed that a tribal lady from Lamlongei and another man from Dewlahland were asked to pay Rs 50,000 and 30,000 for the release of their wards.
He claimed that the said man is a former Excise Constable who was 'dismissed' from service but continued the 'extortion'.
Nalinikanta further claimed that they have numerous records of similar incidents and ample witnesses to testify against the retired/officers involved.