Straight from the mouth of a BJP MLA
Give teeth to war on drugs
Some Ministers, MLAs and police officers seem to be very close to drug lords and kingpins. This is not The Sangai Express or the Manipur media which has said this but an MLA from the BJP who is also the Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board during a public function organised by the International Peace and Social Advancement, Kangleipak (IPSA) on April 3. For obvious reasons, the respected MLA did not go the whole hog to name anyone but this is nothing short of coming straight from the horse’s mouth and the Government should wake up to this. That the MLA should drop such a bombshell even as strong voices have been raised by some civil society organisations to take the drug seizure case involving former Chairman of Chandel ADC, Lhukhosei Zou to a higher Court can give more strength to the stand adopted by the said civil society organisations. It was a co-incidence, but it was also very significant to note that on the day the MLA decided to come forth with his extremely relevant statement, the SP of Imphal West police organised a media conference to inform that the police have been able to seize 88.45 kilograms of opium worth Rs 2.64 crore and cash of Rs 19.85 lakh. One suspect has been arrested in connection with this case but the feeling that there could be bigger fishes involved in this particular case cannot be simply written off. No small time drug dealer would be able to have the resources and the ‘influence’ to stash away drugs worth Rs 2.65 crore and keep Rs 19.85 lakh in cash with him. The Rs 19.85 lakh in cash could be for further transportation of the huge consignment of drugs and this is where the statement of the MLA from Keirao Assembly Constituency that some Ministers, MLAs and police officers seem to be ‘very close’ to drug lords and drug kingpins become all that more significant and interesting. Just how seriously has the BJP led Government at Imphal taken the statement of the MLA remains to be seen, but it should be kept in mind that this damning statement has not come from a Congress MLA but from an MLA of the BJP.
The Sangai Express had always maintained that nabbing small time drug pushers cannot be the answer to the drug menace in society. Surely it cannot be the small time pushers who also double up as drug users who can be behind the huge network. It is the network, the drug cartel that the State Government must focus on. It is also relevant to note that after a drug pusher or a drug smuggler is nabbed there does not seem to be much headway. Has the police been to identify the other associates of the man held with the huge quantity of opium at Kanglatongbi Shantipur on April 2 night ? This is a question which only the police can question but if the past is anything to go by then there may well be no further report on the investigation of the case. This observation is made from the fact that as a daily newspaper, The Sangai Express too receives almost daily reports of so and so pulled up in possession of drugs and other banned items, but in most cases, there are no reports of any follow up action. Can the ‘war on drugs’ begin and end with only the arrest of some people with no further follow up actions ? Or is it a case of it being a better policy not to give out too much to the media to let the investigation proceed more effectively ? Again a question which only the Government can answer.