Imphal, Feb. 28: Manipur director-general of police Yumnam Joykumar Singh today said with backings from Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB), the probe into the Pallel drug haul was “progressing well” and expressed the confidence that all those involved in it would be convicted.
“The investigation is progressing. At this stage we cannot disclose all the details. The NCB is helping us all it can. We will get all those involved,” Joykumar Singh today said.
Pseudoephedrine tablets valued at more than Rs 20 crore in the black market were seized by police at Pallel in Thoubal district from three vehicles, all with “army” labels. Defence public relations officer Col Ajay Chowdhry was leading the vehicles from Imphal to Moreh, apparently to smuggle the tablets into Myanmar. Besides Chow-dhry, five persons were arrested.
The police also arrested Seikholen Haokip, son of Congress MLA and former minister T.N. Haokip, and recovered banned drugs from his Imphal home on Tuesday. The DGP said the seized tablets were loaded at the MLA son’s home.
Joykumar Singh said the army officer would not be handed over to the army even if a request was made by the army authorities.
Col S.D. Goswami, spokes-person for the defence ministry, told this correspondent that the army might not intervene into the case as the offence being a criminal nature involving Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. “We will wait for the completion of the police investigation and also the law of the land to take its own course,” Goswami, who is camping in Imphal after the Pallel haul, said.
“We will go back to the manufacturers of the tablets to find out who bought it and also to know the financer or financers. The NCB is also helping us in this,” he said.
Joykumar Singh, who is personally supervising the investigations, met the deputy director-general of NCB eastern region, R.K. Shahu, here yesterday to chart out the course of the investigation. He said the drug situation in Manipur was very serious.
Reacting to speculations of involvement of politicians in the Pallel case, Joykumar Singh said the police would go “all out” and would not hesitate to take action if any police officer or political leader was involved. He said four police officers were assigned to trace back the buyers by approaching the manufacturers.
The police are trying to find out the contacts at Moreh and if anyone outside Manipur was involved in the Pallel case.
More than 50 women belonging to various citizens’ groups demonstrated in front of chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh’s residence this afternoon demanding the arrest of all drug smugglers and their punishment.
Later, the protesters submitted a memorandum to the chief minister demanding that the government curb smuggling of tablets through air couriers.
Another group of women staged a sit-in on a similar demand at Thangmeiband of Imphal city.