From Hiyang Ahtouba
IMPHAL July 8: Manipur is a safe haven for criminals. Though the government and the Revolutionary People’s Front had declared Manipur a dry State, many sections of people and officials are earning huge profits by openly selling IMFL and high alcohol country liquor. A group of criminals have become notorious for stealing cars, two-wheelers from many parts of India and Manipur. To add to that, many of them are now engaged in manufacturing heroin, smuggling various drugs from Burma. Besides, they are bringing intoxicating drugs from many parts of India for smuggling out to Burma. The innovative members of drug cartel in Burma mix several intoxicating tablets and mix them up with some drugs locally available.
These are then siphoned off to India through Moreh. Though there have been free smuggling of various drugs, there has not been any instance of arresting the drug traffickers and confiscating the banned drugs. Those who are earning huge profit out of this underworld business, speak of their unfettered entry to Burma to fetch heroin and other banned drugs. Why end the profitable business for the powerful officials by arresting some of the smugglers and traffickers ? One local cable channel had exposed how one sleazy character, Chandu, has been freely selling all brands of IMFL in the heart of Imphal city under the nose of the authority. However, this powerful businessman could not be touched. The Sentinel learns that low rung police officers cannot enter his domain. It only establishes his link to the powerful elements. It is counted that one bottle of IMFL is sold per minute. Since the price is exorbitant, his daily net profit must be in terms of five figures. Recently, one police officer mustered enough courage to raid the shop located just across the road from the Imphal City police station and seized IMFL bottles worth Rs 200,000. However the powerful businessman was never arrested and prosecuted. The monetary loss is nothing since he could regain it by increasing the price of the bottles he sells by the hour.
There have been instances of seizing high alcohol country liquor and intoxicating drugs. In normal circumstances, the police should have preserved these confiscated items for producing in the law court while prosecuting the criminals. But the State and some security forces have been vying with one another to burn these items in public places under the glare of the lensmen. They had followed the footsteps of the women prohibitionists. But they are different. When the police and security forces burnt these items, they are arranging the bolt hole through which these criminals could escape. Without evidence, no law court shall convict these criminals. Very surprisingly, nobody is speaking about it which tantamount to travesty of justice. In the name of fighting the crime, the criminals are actually protected.