The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Militants execute drug traders

Imphal, Sept. 18: Police yesterday recovered the bullet-riddled bodies of two drug traffickers, both killed by the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), from Thanga-Chingjin under Moirang police station of Bishenpur district.

The RPF had announced on Monday that the duo, identified as Bishnulakpam Ebi Sharma and Pala L. Haokip, would be executed for trading in drugs. The outfit was to have produced both before newspersons before killing them, but did not do so.

Police sources said Sharma and Haokip might have been killed that very night. The bodies of the two drug peddlers were handed over to their families after post-mortem at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences.

The RPF has a special task force, called Staforce, to deal with drug traffickers. The outfit has awarded “capital punishment” to six traffickers since beginning its campaign against drugs in the early 90s.

Members of the “division six area” of Staforce had “arrested” Sharma and Haokip in Churachandpur district and seized a kg of heroin from them. Their accomplice, however, eluded the Staforce team.

The RPF later invited a group of newspersons to one of its hideouts in Bishenpur district and destroyed the quantity of heroin that had been seized from the two traffickers.

A Staforce spokesman said the duo had smuggled in the heroin from neighbouring Myanmar, which has several drug cartels. He said the RPF would soon track down the third member of the gang and appropriately punish him.

Anybody caught with a kg of contraband or more is liable for “capital punishment” under the laws of the RPF, which projects itself as an insurgent group with a conscience. The outfit has long been campaigning against drug and alcohol abuse.

Protest mission: About 100 women headed for Nagaland to protest crime on the National Highway 39 (Imphal-Dimapur Road) were yesterday intercepted at Mao checkgate within Manipur.

The activists, all members of the All-Manipur Women’s Council, intended to meet chief minister S.C. Jamir in Kohima and submit a memorandum highlighting the state of lawlessness along the busy highway. However, police allowed only five representatives of the organisation and two interpreters to proceed to the Nagaland capital.

The delegation submitted the memorandum to a senior bureaucrat, who, in turn, promised to look into the complaints of looting, extortion and harassment of travellers.

Early this month, an armed gang waylaid three Imphal-bound buses near Piephema and robbed the passengers of cash and valuables. The goons also molested two women, which led to an uproar in Manipur.

The five-member delegation told newspersons after returning from Kohima that the Manipur government had failed to present the true picture before Nagaland. The main markets of Imphal today remained shut with women and traders staging a sit-in demonstration.

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