Updated on 31 Oct 2021, 2:11 pm
Three youths who were allegedly abducted by volunteers of Foundation House Rehabilitation Centre, Samurou, Imphal West and forced to stay in the Centre were rescued by the Drug Users Federation for Human Rights and Justice (DUFHRJ) on Friday.
It is reported that the three youths were allegedly picked up by volunteers of the centre from Sapermeina, Kangpokpi district by disguising themselves as police on October 25.
Of the three youths, only one was found to be a drug user; however, the volunteers physically assaulted them and forcibly let the three youths to admit themselves as drug users, alleged chairman of DUFHRJ RK Nilakanta while speaking to the media on Sunday at the office of CoNE in Imphal.
He said that such arbitrary pick up of drug users or non-drug users has become a frequent activity of various drug treatment centres which are operating without having a clear concept and knowledge of substance use treatment.
Nilakanta also pointed out that there are around 80 - 90 unauthorised rehabilitation centres in Manipur, and many of them are operating just for the sake of running a business.
As a result, they started abducting drug users from the street to admit a larger number of inmates in their centres, he added.
Nalinikanta also alleged that such abductions were also carried out by Yaipokpa Rehabilitation Centre, Kwakeithel on August 20, Anouba Mangal, Khuningtek on September 6 and Th Biren Drug De-addiction Centre, Wangoi on October 26.
The chairman also expressed his dissatisfaction against the state police for not initiating any legal action against those centres which forcibly picks up drug users from the street without their family members consent.
Pointing out that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) had been established by the state authorities for operation and running of such centres, he said, “It is unfortunate that the police are turning a blind eye to such a situation.”
As per the SOP, if any drug users are picked up, they should be produced before the executive magistrate, and the verification should be done by a police officer who is not below the rank of a DSP, he said. The drug user has every right to choose the rehabilitation centre, he added.
Asserting that a complaint had been lodged to all police stations concerned, he warned of taking the matter before the High Court of Manipur if the police fail to act as per law.