EW DELHI, May 24 (VISION COMMUNICATIONS): India and Myanmar have taken joint initiative to check the drug money inflow to various anti-Indian insurgent outfits that are “spending their funds for buying weapons to intensify their terror campaign against India”.
This issue will get priority during the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s meeting with the President of Myanmar Thein Sein in the newly built capital on May 28. The Prime Minister Dr Singh is scheduled to leave for Myanmar on a two-day visit on May 27.
This issue was discussed threadbare besides security related issues like the presence of anti-Indian militant outfits along the 1,643 km long, mostly unfenced, Indo-Myanmar international border, exchange of intelligence inputs and sharing of interrogation reports of arms smugglers caught in Myanmar, during the Union Home Secretary R K Singh’s visit to Myanmar in January, this year.
The Myanmarese Deputy Home Minister Brig. Gen. Kyaw Zan Myint assured the Indian delegation of all necessary help to keep the border free from militants, drug and arms smugglers.
Even the MHA Joint Secretary (North East) Shambhu Singh had discussed security related issues and the entry of illegal drug from Myanmar to India with his counterpart on May 8 at the 57 Mountain Division Headquarter at Leimakhong in Manipur.
The Myanmarese delegation, however, complained that different Indian armed groups often kidnap Indian businessmen and others for ransom, sometimes even resort to killing.
These criminals often cross the border and take shelter in Myanmar side. Both sides agreed for a Coordinated Border Management which is likely to be further discussed in the forthcoming Prime Minister level meeting in Myanmar .
The Myanmar delegation also informed the Indian delegation that a tablet called pseudophedrine mainly prescribed for nasal congestion or sinus, is supplied in huge quantities into Myanmar and then this particular drug is “fortified and smuggle back to India for extra sum.”
India had already presented authentic documents identifying at least two Manipur based underground outfits, People’s Liberation Army and the United National Liberation Front who are reportedly engaged in poppy cultivation in Myanmar under the full protection of the NSCN Khaplang group.
Many other groups are also involved in carrying drugs into the North East region to earn easy money to purchase arms for their movement.
According to Myanmarese authorities, the long porous international border with Myanmar and the friendly population with similar feature on both sides of the border are some of the major factors responsible for largescale smuggling of illegal drugs into the North East region.
Four states of the North East region, namely Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland shares long international border with Myanmar.
To prevent movement of illegal drugs the Government of India has already decided to provide drug detection equipments and other accessories besides imparting extensive training to Myanmar’s law enforcement units on anti-narcotics campaign in a bid to prevent smuggling of drugs from Myanmar into the North East region.
Training is already imparted to the first batch of the narcotics officials of the Myanmar Government. More assistance in this regard is likely to be announced during the Prime Minister’s two-day visit to Myanmar.
As part of its sustained campaign, Army, Border Security Force and other paramilitary forces deployed along the Indo-Myanmar border, besides state police and Narcotic Bureau have launched massive operations to effectively check the activities of drug and arms mafia in the North East region.
Accordingly, the Imphal West Narcotics Cell personnel recovered 950 bottles of codeine syrup Lupicof which is often misused as addictive from the North AOC parking of Imphal – Dimapur passenger service on May 10.
The consignment was brought from Dimapur by one Mohammed Nashir Ali resident of Keirao Manjor Hingol Leikai of Imphal. Lupicof syrup, whose actual price is Rs 69.50, fetches about Rs 150 to Rs 200 in the black market. Recovery was also made of 205 packets consisting of 28,500 capsules of banned spasmo proxyvon from a Maruti van coming to Imphal from Silchar.
Manipur is not the only state of the region where illegal business in drugs is causing headache to law makers. Recently, the Railway Police Force in Dimapur, Nagaland confiscated a huge cache of 38,300 capsules of medicine Spasmo Proxyvon, many cough syrup bottles, and over 2000 tablets of Nitrosun. Both Spasmo Proxyvon and Nitrosun are often misused as they can cause addiction if taken in undesired quantities. The whole consignment was being taken by two miscreants from Assam to Thoubal district in Manipur via Nagaland. On 23rd May the Railway Police nabbed a youth from the Guwahati Railway station with huge quantities of explosives procued from Mizoram-Myanmar border.
The entry of illegal drugs and weapons from across the border into the North East India is a reality. It remains to be seen how the heads of two neighbours take steps to reduce the concerns.