Need for a valiant police to uncover MANIPUR’S DRUG DON
By: Seram Neken
Budding of beautiful and costly buildings in many parts of the state, plying of innumerable number of luxurious four-wheelers on the streets, lavish lifestyles of a few wealthy people etc. are the visible symptoms of an ailing society. A bird’s eye-view reveals that a number of expensive residential buildings and vehicles belong to people whose rightful incomes are disproportionate to their properties. When many individuals accumulate wealth uneven to their positions, it is well established that some illegal things are happening around them. The state agencies including the vigilance authorities are not fully equipped with power and skills to investigate on them for obvious reasons. We need to empower the state agencies to act swift in uncovering the truth. Illicit drug trade operating in the state will be controlled only when a strong political will backs the investigating agencies.
Drugs trade is considered as the third largest business in the world, next to petroleum and arms trade. Today, no part of the world is free from the curse of drug trafficking and addiction. Millions of drug addicts, all over the world, are leading miserable lives, between life and death. Drug addiction has caused immense human distress and the illegal production and distribution of drugs have spawned crime and violence worldwide. Manipur has been contributing a huge portion towards the figure, with our young ones falling prey to drugs and substance abuse menace.
During 1970-1980, Psychoactive Substances or Drugs such as Morphine, Poldrom, Mandrake, Hypogen etc. were widely available and abused in Manipur. Heroin or No. 4 appeared in the early 80s. The quality of Heroin was very pure and widely available at cheap rates. The sense of pleasure of its use spread like wild fire among the youths and adults of that generation. Heroin use was considered as fashionable, up-to-date and rich. Girls admired those youths who used Heroin as rock stars. From mid 1980’s, Injecting Drug Users started committing crimes to finance their drug requirements. Stealing from family, friends, neighbors and locality became regular features. Street crimes, gang fights and frequent cases of overdose and deaths were reported often. Even innocent children were kidnapped and killed to snatch their gold earrings.
In late 80s and early 90s, the trend of drug abuse changed with the intrusion of Pharmaceuticals such as Phenshydyl, Corex, Epidex, Sericodine and Bonolex. Pain killers like Proxyvon, Parvon Spas, Spasmo Proxyvon (SP), Relipen (RP) and Prozep, and tranquilizers such as Diazepam, Valium, Nitrosun 10 (N10) etc. appeared as most friendly abuse items to young people. Cheap and easily available substances such as Dendrite and correction fluids (Eraz-ex) are also widely abused by young ones. A new trend of using Ephedrine-contained tablets such as WY (World is yours) has now invaded the young people of Manipur. A considerable portion of the youths in Manipur has lost its energy, strength and power to drugs and psychotropic substances.
Illicit Drug trafficking has been known as the easiest way of earning black money in this state since long time back. It is apparent that without the involvement of powerful people, drugs business could not be possible. In the absence of big traders, drugs abuse would not have scaled its present height. Almost ninety percent of young adolescent boys in each and every locality of Manipur have fallen to the abuse of one or the other substance. Cheap and easy availability of these intoxicating substances have caught the adolescents young, thereby turning Manipur into a drugs infested state. Perforated borders and proximity with the Golden Triangle make the state highly vulnerable to drugs abuse.
Drugs trade is also a big riddle in Manipur. There were amazing instances when the drug consignments were seized without naming anybody as its owner. Presumably the Police might have arrested a number of drug smugglers in the past only to set them free on various compulsions. Involvement of powerful individuals in the rank and file of the government has obviously been the greatest hurdle in controlling the drug menace. Involvement of Army Officers, Police commandos, sons and relatives of ministers etc. has clearly revealed that effective control of drug smuggling will not be possible in the absence of a strong political will. Although the present government has apparently shown attention towards preventing drugs smuggling in the state, its sincerity is still questionable. As the drugs trade is a well established and age-old affaire, there must a Kingpin in the state whose arrests require a vigilant and powerful police force.
The probable hidden links between the drugs traders and the rank and file in the government are presumably the greatest concern to the gallant police personnel at present. Manipur Police commandos were once famous for registering encounters (either real or fake). Now, the same police institution has started its onslaught on the illegal drugs trade. Although the opening of an age-old Pandora’s Box is not an easy task, a few dauntless police personnel have started engaging in the herculean task of arresting drug traders since a couple of months back. Here, the police officers and personnel posted at sensitive police posts on Highways need to be especially empowered to handle the task. Since Imphal-Moreh Road is highly vulnerable to drugs transportation, the police on this highway require to be protected from all kinds of vices from the side of smugglers. Distinguished policemen deserve the greatest of the rewards and honours for the mission to save the deteriorating society. Only a vigilant and strong police force will be able to control the rampant drug trafficking in Manipur. We need to empower the existing investigative agencies of the state in order to avoid frequent invitation of the CBI for petty matters. Political will is highly needed for enabling the investigative agencies to take up independent investigations on a number of pending drugs cases.