Imphal, March 10: The Muslim community in Manipur has woken up to the threat posed by drugs among the youths of Manipur, particularly youths of the community, and is preparing to fight the menace by joining hands with all sections of the people.
As part of the exercise to save the youths from drowning in psychotropic substance abuse, Muslim religious leaders would be discussing ways to fight it in a three-day istema at Moijing, a Muslim pocket in Thoubal.
Istema, a conference of Islamic religious leaders, began today at Moijing ground. Youth and student organisations are also taking part in the conference, which was opened by parliamentary secretary for minorities and other backward classes, Amin Shaha.
The conference will also discuss other issues relating to the community.
Among the Muslim pockets, Lilong in Thoubal district is the worst hit. Official sources said Lilong had become a major drug smuggling hub with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) recently busting two mobile heroin-manufacturing units.
NCB officials informed the state police that heroin manufactured in Manipur was being ferried to other cities of the country.
The inclusion of the drug agenda in the conference came after joint operations by security forces led to the seizure of large quantities of pseudoephedrine tablets from Muslim pockets in Thoubal district recently. Large quantities of Spasmoproxyvon and pseudoephedrine tablets valued at nearly Rs 3 lakh were seized from the houses of three persons, including a woman, on Wednesday at Sora, another Musim pocket in Thoubal district during an operation launched by the police, India Reserve Battalion and Manipur Rifles.
In another case, a joint operation by the police and Assam Rifles led to the seizure of Spasmoproxyvon and N-10 tablets valued at Rs 30 lakh from a house at Kaleikhong in Lilong yesterday.
Police raids also recovered piles of empty capsules of such tablets at a paddy field in Lilong recently.
Police sources said these tablets were pounded to powder and were taken to neighbouring Myanmar for making psychotropic substances there.
“The drug issue has affected youths of all communities. It is not only the Muslim youths who are taking the drugs. The business is in terms of crores and not lakhs. All should join hands to root out the menace to save the future generations of the state,” Ruksar Choudhury, president of the All Manipur Muslim Girl Student Union, said.
H. Khan, adviser to the All Manipur Muslim Student Organisation, said the conference would chalk out strategies to fight the drug menace.
“The situation among the Muslim youths is very bad. Drug smuggling and abuse are against Islam. Religious leaders of the Muslims should take the lead in fighting it and take firm decisions during the conference,” Khan said.