IMPHAL: The All Tribal Rights’ Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) has stated that it is deeply saddened to see the increasing events of smuggling drugs and transportation of tobacco items and demanded CBI enquiries into all major drug haul cases without exception.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the forum maintained that it does not want to point out any particular incident of arrest as not only those incidents are the true picture of the situation, there are numbers of cases which have not been made known to the public but settled among the parties or the authorities.
“In fact we were highly appreciative of the slogan of the Hon’ble Chief Minister “Fight against Drugs”. However, the actual facts on the ground look quite opposite which is a great disappointment for the general public. There are allegations and counter-allegations among elected representatives, CSOs and police officers.
This is a clear indication that there is something wrong in the system and we are pretty sure that smuggling drugs and transportation of tobacco products and availability of such products in the retail shops with much higher prices than the actual prices in spite of Covid-19 protocols, there are links between smugglers and transporters of such products and some public leaders. There are already a series of incidents in connection with smuggling of drugs and transportation of tobacco items since for the last few years and in almost all major such incidents, there are allegations of involvement of elected representatives,” the forum charged in the statement.
Consumption of tobacco products are made an offense, however, ironically, transportation and availability of such products at much higher prices are left unchecked which is a great financial burden for the ordinary people. In addition to already suffering carried by the common people due to the long period of lockdown, prices of essential commodities and tobacco products are bearing hefty price tags, the release continued.
According to the ATRPFM a situation where the rich becomes much richer and poor becomes much poorer has been created with rise in unfair commercial activities. Thus, the actual intention of the State Government and law enforcing agencies becomes questionable, it stated and raised the issue of controversy over the testimony of Addl. SP, Thounaojam Brinda.
The case has further created doubts about the transparency, accountability, integrity and sincerity of the State government in fighting against drugs. As far as our knowledge is concerned, Th. Brinda is committed in the matter of drugs with sincerity and integrity in all respects in spite of all odds she has been facing to save the future generations of our people. The State Government is not expected to fight against such a committed police officer if the slogan “Fight against Drugs” is to be translated into action, ARTPFM said on the lack of idealism in the stance of the government.
Accordingly, ATRPFM has demanded CBI enquiries in all major cases without distinction as to status, power or political affiliation for the ends of justice and in public interest.