IMPHAL, June 26: According to Major General UK Gurung, the insurgency movement has lost steam and the law and order situation of the state has improved much in the last few years.
He mentioned that the rebels are left with the option of recruiting child soldiers as the educated youths of the state are no longer interested in joining the UG ranks. “It’s a fact that their numbers are dwindling, moreover arrests of cadres with large number of them surrendering en masse to the government”, he said.
The IGAR (S) further mentioned that the Assam Rifles are ready to tackle the insurgents if they try to infiltrate the Manipur Myanmar border when queried of the Myanmarese government and Indian security forces conducting joint operations to flush out the UGs from the Myanmar camps.
He was talking to media persons during the sidelines of a seminar held at Pallel today in culmination with the “International Day against Drug abuse and Illicit Trafficking”. Narcotic Control Bureau, Police, Customs, Medical & Educational Institutions and NGOs joined hands with Assam Rifles on the occasion to raise the awareness on the key issue of drug abuse in the state of Manipur.
A seminar under the theme “Think Health – Not Drugs” with the objective to impress upon the youth the extremely detrimental effect of prolonged usage of substance has on the physical and mental well-being was highlighted. The function was presided over by Major General U K Gurung, who in his keynote address highlighted that Assam Rifles in collaboration with fellow anti-drug warriors’ remains committed to the well being of the people of the state and through this effort hope to see a better drug free society.
The seminar was attended by SP Vandana from Crime Branch, Prof Ch Priyoranjan and Prof Rajan from MU, medical institutes, educationalists and renowned NGOs working in the field of drug de-addiction and rehabilitation.
At the seminar, eminent speakers brought to light the role of various agencies in combating the menace and curtailing its spread in younger generation and were unanimous about the complexities of drug addiction, engulfing our young generations. Gangadhar from Community in Network Empowerment (CONE), who himself was a drug addict explained, how he fought the menace in search for a brighter and drug free future. The most engrossing and interesting session was the panel discussion where the youth came out freely to interact with Professor Amar Yumnam, Dr AK Brojen, Professor Ch Priyoranjan and Comdt (Retd) RS Jassal.
The seminar focused that Manipur being one of the largest supplier and consumer of illicit opium products rank third in India based on the percentage of drug users and with 28 present of the population under the influence of drug has one of the highest cases of injecting drug users (IDU) in India. The trend of drug abuse is on the rise with IDU accounting for 80.7% HIV cases in the state of Manipur in 2007. Detrimental to physical and mental health of the society, drugs are the highest single cause of domestic violence and mortality rate amongst youth in the age bracket of 25 to 35 years as per a survey conducted in 2010. Hence, there is an urgent need to address the problem of drug abuse by instituting measure such as drug education in school curriculum, effectively engaging the youth and promoting dynamic partnership between youth and their families. Drug addiction’s devastating effects range financial, physical, and emotional to psychological.
The seminar also highlighting role of Assam Rifles in curbing the drug menace in the Manipur State.