War on Drugs campaign Nail the kingpins
Obvious that it will need more than a War on Drugs to free Manipur from the shackles of drugs, though this is definitely a beginning. Drugs ‘originating’ from Manipur and seized in other parts of the country has been grabbing prime spots on the pages of Imphal based newspapers and the disturbing fact is, the drugs seized outside Manipur clearly says that the same was smuggled to Manipur, though the possibility of it being manufactured here cannot be ruled out given the fact that some drug manufacturing units have been busted in the past, and then made its way through Manipur on its way to the final destination. The fact that such a huge consignment of drugs, worth Rs 1.5 crore, was comfortably transported outside Manipur to be seized at Madhya Pradesh should tell its own story. Aren’t there check posts on the National Highways ? To even think that 1.5 kilograms of smack could be ‘easily’ smuggled into the State or manufactured here, then packed in a hidden chamber of a goods truck and then taken outside the State should tell the story of how ‘well established’ the drug trail is. At the moment, the 1.5 Kgs of smack seized at Madhya Pradesh is in focus as this is the latest information available with the media, but study the matter a little deeper and it should be obvious that the 1.5 Kgs could just be a small part of a huge consignment, the others having made their way through the trail. It should also be more than clear that the two persons arrested along with the drugs could not be anyone ‘bigger’ than couriers who were transporting the drugs for a fee. The person or persons who financed, used the necessary clout and influence to get the same smuggled outside Manipur on its way to the final destination is palpably clear. This is where the Government would need to step in and try to get in touch with its counterpart in Madhya Pradesh and be involved in directly dealing with the case. Establish the trail and make known some important inputs to the public. Who financed the transportation of the drug consignment ? Who was or were the person/persons who camouflaged the said truck as a garlic carrying truck ? From where were the garlic packed ? This question is important for Manipur is not exactly known for its garlic production and it is not likely that the State would have been in a position to supply garlic to any other part of the country.
As repeatedly pointed out in this column, so far no big fish seems to have been netted. Why this is so is a question that has been haunting all those who have been watching the War on Drugs campaign of the State Government. It is under this campaign that poppy plantations have been raged to the ground on so many occasions, but so far no one has heard of who were the person/persons responsible for growing the poppy plants. Has anyone been nailed for poppy cultivation ? Who are the persons financing the poppy plantations and who are the ones who have been buying the poppy plants after they have matured ? Who finances the poppy plantation ? Who buys them ? So far Manipur has not heard of anyone who sponsored the cultivation of poppy plantation being penalised. The Government will need to move beyond the War on Drugs slogan and try to identify and nail the big bosses. It stands that something more needs to be done and rounding up anyone on the roads and streets of different parts of the State in possession of drugs cannot be more than cracking down on petty drug peddlers, who may be drug users themselves. It was with missionary zeal that the State Government launched the War on Drugs campaign and it is only expected that big heads roll and not just the petty drug pushers. The drug menace has hit Manipur hard and it has been like this for decades, starting from the early 80s when morphine, tablets, heroin and codeine laden cough syrups came before the newer version of drugs such as WY tablets made its appearance here.