Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Thursday alleged that the status of Manipur’s government war on drugs is in “vacillation” while citing the numerous drug haul cases outside the state which were reported to be smuggled from the state.
Amid the intense war on drugs, Manipur witnessed increase of poppy plantation, increase of drug cartels and increase in seizure of drugs originating from Manipur outside the state, MPCC vice president Hareshwar Goshwami said while speaking to the media at Congress Bhawan in Imphal.
Talking about the seizure of 50-kilogram opium worth Rs 10 crore at the national capital from the possession of two individuals from Manipur on February 17, he informed that the Special Cell of Delhi police, in a statement, had established that they are gang of international drug carter under the banner of “Itocha International Drug Cartel”.
Reading out the police statement which says, “There has been widespread illegal cultivation of opium and manufacturing of heroin in Manipur for the last 5-6 years,” Goshwami said the aforesaid duration is just one year after BJP came to power in Manipur. “May be this is just a coincidence,” he added.
Taking on the identity of one of the arrested persons (Loyangamba Itocha) whose identity is yet to be established, the vice-president said, “Loyangamba Itocha is said to be a close relative of a well-known person in the present BJP circle. Subject to confirmation). His father’s name may be Itocha. However, he manipulates by giving his name as Loyangamba Itocha”.
As the seizures are from members of an international drug cartel, he stressed the need for a deep investigation as there could be a lot of people connected with it.
Recalling the seizure of Yaba tablets worth Rs 20 crore in Guwahati on July 25, 2022; heroin and morphine worth Rs 15 crore at Guwahati on August 2, 2022; heroin and yaba tablets worth Rs 175 crore at Cachar on December 18, 2022; brown sugar at Odisha on December 3, 2022 and heroin worth Rs 25 crore at Assam on February, he said all those drugs were reportedly smuggled from Manipur.
“The smuggling of drugs from Manipur to outside states when the radar of the state police are on high alert proved the involvement of big shots having government support from Manipur in such illicit drug business”, Goshwami alleged.
Taking account of all the facts, he drew the attention of the chief minister to investigate all links to the drug seizure cases originating from Manipur to establish the source, destination and identity of all drug traffickers.
The MPCC vice-president also demanded handing of all sensitive drug cases like Friday's case to an agency like CBI and to establish the identity of Loyangamba Itocha who is said to be a resident of Laipham Khunou, Imphal East and placed in public domain.