Imphal: Suspecting involvement of high profile persons from the State in international drug cartel, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Vice-President Hareshwar Goshwami has demanded the State Government to hand over drug related cases to the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) so as to establish the source, destination and identity of all drug traffickers.
Talking to reporters in a press conference held at Rishang Keishing Media Centre at Congress Bhawan on Thursday, MPCC Vice-President Hareshwar Goshwami demanded the State Government to hand over sensitive drug cases including the recent seizure of drugs from two Manipuris in Delhi to the CBI.
He said that two persons from Heingang AC namely Loyangamba and Itocha, residents of Laipham Khunou Khurai under Heingang Police Station were involved in the smuggling of 50 Kg of Opium seized by Special Cell, Delhi Police. The duo has links with certain high profile persons of the state, according to a statement of the Special Cell, Delhi Police.
He pointed out that even though the BJP government under Chief Minister N Biren is waging ‘War on Drugs’ for the last five years, the anti-drug campaign is attractive on one side and totally groundless on the other side.
He questioned as to why the State is witnessing a multiplication of mass poppy plantation, drug smuggling cases, seizures of drugs in outside of the state from the local drug traffickers during the last 5 to 6 years despite the government waging a war against drugs.
Elaborating on the series of drug seizures, he said that as per newspaper report, huge consignment of drugs worth Rs. 1,229 crore were seized in 2022 alone.
As a part of the mission, the Police Department arrested many individuals involved in the drug cases but so far there is no report of convicting those local drug traffickers arrested outside the state along with drugs. Yaba tablets worth Rs. 20 crore transited from Manipur was seized in Guwahati on July 25, 2022, besides seizure of Heroin and morphines in Guwahati worth Rs. 15 crore on August 2, 2022, seizure of Heroin weighing 200 gram and Yaba tablets worth Rs. 14.1 crore in Guwahati on December 15, 2022, seizure of Yaba tablets in Cachar worth Rs. 175 crore on December 18, 2022, seizure of 1.335 Kg of Brown Sugar by Special Task Force, Odisha Police from one Salim Ahmmed, a resident of Mantripukhri, Imphal. 4 Kg of Heroin worth Rs. 25 crore was also seized in Karbi Anglong in Assam from two persons coming from the State on February 22, 2023, he said.
He also pointed out that 50 Kg of opium worth Rs. 10 crore was caught in Delhi from two Manipuris identified as Ranbir Singh alias Tingku, son of Swaroop Singh of Laipham Khunou, Heingang and Loyangamba Itocha of Laipham Khunou, Heingang by a Special Cell, Delhi Police.
According to a press release of Special Cell Deputy Commissioner Alok Kumar, they received information about a gang of drug traffickers active in Manipur, Assam, UP, Bihar, Punjab, and Delhi were reaching Delhi, NCR along with a huge consignment of Opium by a Brezza car. The team nabbed the drug lords on February 17 from MB Road. During the investigation, the two arrested individuals revealed that the drugs came from Myanmar via Manipur for distribution in different parts of India. The gang is an international operator, he said.
Hareshwar said that the most intriguing part is that they have been smuggling opium for the last five years i.e one year after the BJP came to power in Manipur.
“From the disclosure of the arrested persons, “There has been widespread illegal cultivation of opium and manufacturing of Heroin in Manipur for the last five/six years,” Hareshwar quoted Dy. Commissioner of Police, Special Cell Alok Kumar as saying.
While looking deeper into the matter, one of the arrested persons, who has been identified as Loyangamba Itocha is said to be a close relative of a well-known person in the present BJP circle. His father’s name may be Itocha. However, he manipulatively gave his name as Loyangamba Itocha, the Congress leader said.