Manipur cops sacked in drug trafficking case
The five Manipur police commandos, who were arrested on January 16 with a huge quantity of contraband drugs, have been sacked amid calls by the Opposition Congress to hand over the case to the CBI.
Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh revealed the development while delivering the vote of thanks to the participants of the march past held as part of the 74th Republic Day celebration at the 1st Manipur Rifles Ground in Imphal.
Highlighting the seriousness of the BJP-led state government’s ongoing War on Drugs campaign, the chief minister said the five Manipur police personnel “arrested recently with illegal drugs have been terminated with immediate effect”, adding there will be “no” compromise against anyone found involved in drug trafficking and poppy plantation.
According to the police, about 1.336kg of heroin powder and 9.151kg of contraband WY (World is Yours) tablets were seized from the SUV the five police commandos were travelling in from Moreh to Imphal on an official trip on January 16. The suspected drugs were being carried in 100 soap cases in the SUV which was intercepted near Kuraopokpi on NH-102.
The seizure, including Rs 80,000 in cash, was made under the overall command of Kakching SP Shrey Vats.
The five police commandos were immediately arrested and placed under suspension. Their police custody ends on Friday.
The Opposition Congress has been staging dharnas and holding press meets demanding that the drug haul case be handed over to the CBI because it has lost faith in the ongoing police probe.
Manipur, along with Mizoram, is considered a transit route for drug trafficking from neighbouring Myanmar.
The chief minister had earlier questioned the push for a CBI probe when arrests have been made and the investigation was progressing swiftly.
The Kakching police registered an FIR against the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president K. Meghachandra on January 21 for allegedly obstructing public servants in the discharge of their duties and criminal trespass with common intention. The place of occurrence was the Kakching SP office campus.
Meghachandra has responded to the charges by claiming he had visited the Kakching SP’s office on January 21 to congratulate the police for the drug haul and that the allegation of him threatening the SP and hampering the investigation was baseless.
The Manipur Pradesh Youth Congress on Wednesday claimed the government was trying to “divert” attention from the drug haul case by defaming the MPCC chief while reiterating the party’s demand for handing over all drug haul cases, even those that took place during the erstwhile Congress regime, to the CBI.
The BJP-led coalition government came to power in Manipur in 2017.