LAMKA, August 8: Hundreds of supporters of T Goubiakthuam who succumbed to a head injury which he had received while at the Bethsaida De- Addiction centre on July 25, have taken the issue of his dead to the streets by conducting a rally today in Churachandpur which started at about 11 am.
The demonstrators displayed placards which said, “We condemned the killing of T Goubiakthuam”, ” Stop killing in the Rehabilitation centers” , ” We want justice ” etc.
The rally started off from HOPE office located at New Bazar along the Tedim road and then proceeded towards the DC/Ccpur office taking the same road. On reaching the Tuibuong Bazar area they took a left turn following the SP office approached road and moved on while shouting,“ we want justice` , “We are not animals “.
The supporters who also included ex- drug users have been drawn from various districts and places of the state including Imphal east and west, Tamenglong, Chandel, Nambol, Bishenpur and from Churachandpur. However, supporters from Senapati were unable to make it to the demonstration due to the general strike call of the SHDDC.
The protesters also submitted a memorandum to the SDC/PO Khaikhopau who assured them to take up the matter at the appropriate level of authority. The DC is presently on a visit to her home state Tamil Nadu.
The memorandum signed by the CoNE (Community Network for Empowerment) secretary RK Nolinikanta convenor as well as HOPE secretary C Lian stated that T Goubiakthuam s/o (L) T Kapa a resident of Gouchinkhup Veng while undergoing treatment at Bethsaida Centre received a serious injury on his head and other body parts and was referred to the district hospital for emergency treatment. However he was referred to RIMS as the district hospital lack proper facilities.
On reaching Imphal, he was admitted to the SHIJA Hospital as the day happen to be Sunday and as RIMS doesn’t admit anybody on Sundays, it said and added that ven after he was administered emergency medical intervention he was declared death on July 25 at about 2:40 am and the family lodged a complain with the police and accordingly an FIR under number 43/7/2011/ccp/PS- under section 302 / 34 IPC was registered.
In this connection CoNE and HOPE fact finding teams have visited the crisis spot and then discovered that there are presently 11 de-addiction centre in the district out of which four are funded by the ministry of social justice and empowerment, MSJE, including one meant especially for female drug users while the seven others are privately run.
The team also discovered that it is doubtful as to whether all this centres properly follow the MSJE guidelines as in the minimum standards of services
The team further said that as per the guidelines de- addiction centres should have intake capacity for 15 to 30 or in special cases 50 at the maximum while pointing out that the Bethsaida centre was accommodating 100 drug users for treatment with inadequate staffs and the requisite infrastructures to manage such a huge population of drug users which is inappropriate and tantamount to violation of human rights at large.
It said based on an interview with one of the Bethsaida’s inmates, they are chained for 15 days with no proper medical intervention which should be made compulsory during the period of detoxification adding that the detoxification services administered at the center is not right to make the withdrawal safe and comfortable as has been in the MSJE minimum standard of services.
Besides the points mentioned, the memorandum also said that there are many loopholes in the center as compared to the MSJE guidelines, such as no code of ethics, responsibilities of staffs and rights of patients are not displayed in the notice boards for wide information.
Speaking on the sidelines of the procession, one Goulianmang has said that while he was at the home (center) he was made to starve and also chained for many days.
Another IDU who happen to stay as an inmates at the center while talking to this correspondent stated that he was also kept chained at the Home for many days and was getting so much fatigue that he ran away from the centre. But he was recapture and then his family was made to pay a fine of Rs 10000 but had bargained for Rs 5000.