War on Drugs : Understand the slogan
Questions that need answers
Heartening that the Chief Minister’s Police Medal for Gallantry has been withdrawn, but there are still many questions that need answers. How did the name of the police official make it to the list of names who were to be awarded on Independence Day ? What is the process under which a police official is nominated for the said award ? Under what criteria is the Chief Minister’s Police Medal for Gallantry given ? How did the said police official, a Sub-Inspector in this case, manage to conceal the drug case that is pending against him ? These are all questions which need to be answered and the sooner this is answered the better it would go in giving some credibility to the ‘War on Drugs’ slogan coined by the BJP led Government. From the drug seizure case involving a former Chairman of the ADC and the transfer of a police official from the NAB to the recent goof up, drugs continue to cast its long shadow on the State Government and this certainly is not a good sign. According to a late night statement issued by the State Home Department on August 16, an Inspector of Imphal East Police has also been placed under suspension for ‘lapses in the initial processing,’ but while the action has been swift, it is still hard to believe that only an official can be named responsible for the goof up in naming a ‘soiled’ police official for the said award. A Committee headed by an officer of the rank of IGP has been formed to look into the case and while this is certainly a welcome move, one only hopes that the probe is conducted swiftly and taken to its logical conclusion.
Heads should roll. It is more than a goof up and it wouldn’t be wrong if people start suspecting such medals which are given every Independence Day. Is there some sort of a system which can prepare one’s duty record in such a way that the ‘inglorious past’ such as being arrested for drug trafficking can be fudged and covered up ? The Home Department will seriously need to study this question. The All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) has done a good job in exposing the faux pas and this is where one would like to question when the disgraced police official was reinstated after he was arrested for trafficking drugs worth more than Rs three crore back in 2013. It is good that a student organisation like AMSU has been able to expose the past of the said police official and this would not cast the Government in any good light. Withdrawing the award, suspending one or two police official and instituting a probe panel is fine but this can never be enough. In concealing a point as critical as being suspended in connection with a drug seizure case, it should be clear to all that the fight against drugs will have go much beyond catchy slogans such as ‘War on Drugs.’ Let the Government show it means business and towards this the first step should be to expose the whole lies that went into ensuring that a police official arrested in connection with a drug trafficking case was named as a recipient of the Chief Minister’s Police Medal for Gallantry.