Two village heads, who were picked up for taking statements in connection with widespread poppy cultivation at Selsi village in Kangpokpi district, Manipur, have escaped from Kangpokpi Police Station. Following it, the officer in-charge, a sub inspector and two VDF personnel have been suspended from their duties.
Selsi village secretary and vice chairman were picked up for taking statements by summoning them after it was discovered that poppy was being widely cultivated amid green pea farms at Selsi village in Kangpokpi district.
Selsi village is located at a distance of around 34 km west of Kangpokpi Police station on IT road.
Following Chief Minister N Biren’s strong instructions against poppy cultivation, the village chairman, vice chairman, village secretary and members were summoned at Kangpokpi Police Station.
They arrived at the Kangpokpi Police Station on Thursday morning; however, village secretary David Kipgen ,40, son of (L) Jangkhohao Kipgen from Selsi Village and vice chairman Henkholun Kipgen, 62, son of (L) Khohen Kipgen from Selsi Village escaped around 7.45 pm Thursday.
Upon receiving information that the duo had fled, teams of Kangpokpi district police and 4th IRB personnel launched a search operation at the possible routes of escape, sources said.
Meanwhile, both David Kipgen and Henkholun Kipgen were apprehended again around 10 am on Friday, as per the sources.
Regarding their earlier escape, officer in charge Henminthang Kipgen of Kangpokpi Police Station, sub inspector SL Seiminthang, VDF personnel Paojamang and Thangjagin Chiru have been suspended from duties.
It may be mentioned that in a video clip uploaded on social media, Biren was visibly upset and expressed his anger on finding that poppy was widely cultivated in the said area.
Biren announced that village chiefs and secretaries who were found involved in poppy plantations will be given lifetime imprisonment. He further declared a war against poppy cultivators, regardless of whether they are armed or not.