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No political pressure in any drug-related case: CM Biren

Visibly angry and frustrated over the continued illegal poppy plantation in many parts of the state despite so many initiatives  being taken up by his government, the Chief Minister instructed the officials to identify and arrest the landowners where plantations are done. 

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Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh  announced that there would be no political intervention or pressure on any drug or anti-national related cases in the state.

Biren also assured that any government servants or police personnel found using or trafficking drugs or with records of drug abuse should be suspended, put them into rehabilitation centres and be terminated after a legal process.

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The Chief Minister was speaking at a seminar cum interactive workshop for public prosecutors and police officers here on Monday. 

Visibly angry and frustrated over the continued illegal poppy plantation in many parts of the state despite so many initiatives  being taken up by his government, the Chief Minister instructed the officials to identify and arrest the landowners where plantations are done. 

He said that a cabinet sub-committee has been formed and a report is being sought and accordingly will take up stringent actions including putting hold on MGNREGA benefits and even derecognizing the villages if their chiefs are found to be involved.

Stressing further on the gravity of the drug menace in the society, the Chief Minister said that the fight against drugs is a war and we should move forward until we get our results. He made an earnest appeal to all stakeholders to be serious and not to deal with the issue casually as it could affect entire generations and society.   

It is time for all of us to think of our future generation, said the Chief Minister, adding it is the sole responsibility of the present generation to shape and protect our future generations.

The Chief Minister said that the workshop is organised to discuss loopholes in the fight against drugs and sought expert opinion on the same. He further urged the conference to discuss the NDPS Act, Free Movement Regime, lack of infrastructure for forensic testing, man-power and others and to submit recommendations.

He further stressed the need for coordination among various stake-holders including Police, Public Prosecutors, Forensic teams, advocates and judges and said that we cannot go beyond the law, but within the provision of the law, we need coordination and find the loopholes to eradicate the drug menace from the State.

He further said that the government is also working towards 24×7 vigil at Moreh and fencing of border areas.

Chief Secretary Dr. Rajesh Kumar highlighted certain issues including sealing of borders to curtail cross border movement of drugs, continued efforts to destroy poppy cultivation and provision of alternate livelihood. He also highlighted how to use technology in destroying poppy fields as one example of war on drugs.

DGP P Doungel said that one of the biggest challenges in front of the State is drug trafficking because of its close proximity with the golden triangle, inaccessible terrain, porous border and the presence of anti-social elements. The cultivation of opium is also another pressing problem, he added.

Stating that the time has come to completely eradicate all types of drugs and other crimes related to drugs, the DGP also expressed the need to increase the number of chargesheet in drug related cases while following proper investigation procedures to ensure conviction. He said a high conviction rate sends a strong message to culprits. 

The inaugural function was also attended by Minister L. Sushindro Meitei and ADGP (Intelligence) Ashutosh Kumar Sinha. Police officials, Judges, Public Prosecutors among others also attended the function.

The inaugural function was followed by an Interactive Training Session attended by Police officers, Public Prosecutors, Narcotics Control Bureau team, Narcotics and Affairs of Border Team, Manipur among others.

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