Five Manipur based students’ bodies on Wednesday stressed the need for carrying out ‘war on drugs’ waged by the Manipur government on narco-terrorism with honestly both in words and spirit.
“We are deeply concerned that the majority of the drug cases are not addressed due to the shoddy criminal justice system in the state,” they said. “In the light of recent revelations and developments on the issue of drugs, people are losing faith in the entire justice delivery system,” the five students’ bodies – AMSU, AIMS, DESAM, KSA and SUK, stated in a joint statement.
The students’ bodies while urging to carry out the ‘war on drugs’ both in words and spirit, said that, in order to convict high level drug kingpins and accused, there is a need for strong political will. “The government must express its genuine intent to fight the menace through its grit and actions”, it said. “The menace of drugs has been going on for decades but the level of conviction is extremely low”, it added.
While expecting the judgment of the infamous Lhukhoshei Zou drug case on Thursday (December 17), the verdict of the court is going to be historic for the state and its people, the joint statement of the five student bodies observed.
The ND&PS Special Court, Lamphel is scheduled to pronounce the judgment of the case on December 17, it said. “We believe that the verdict will set a good precedence for justice, public interest and rule of law. We believe the court will deliver a good judgment and convict all the accused,” the five students’ bodies also stated.
It also observed that there had been many instances where high-ranking politicians and officials of the state who were involved in drug cases have been patronized and protected by the power that be. “This should not be repeated at any cost,” it said. “More importantly, the menace of drugs is a chronic issue that has crept into all the nooks and crevices of the state”, the five bodies stated in the joint statement.
It then said that the impact of drugs is permanent and if not contained effectively, it has the potential to permanently wipe out precious human resources of the state, destroy our ecology, health, society and will have irreversible political repercussions on the state. It further said that the chronic and alarming level of drug proliferation in the state is not possible without the involvement and support of people in high power and positions. “Of the many drug cases that have been registered in the state of Manipur, only in a few cases, very few kingpins and drug lords have been charged or arrested”, it also said.
“Even for these few cases, we have seen high-level political interference and have not seen conviction of any high profile accused in the cases so far”, the statement maintained. “Most of the high profile cases are on trial for a seemingly never ending amount of time or the trial is vitiated, pressured or interfered by political powers,” the statement also said. “Thus, the high level of acquittal, political interference and corruption in the entire prosecution of drug cases is facilitating the drug menace instead of curbing it”. “This proves the strength of the long arms of drug cartels, which have brought all state machineries under its control. This is an alarming situation and is going to be catastrophic for the people and the state,” the joint statement observed.
Asserting that the responsibility to save people and state lies on all people from all walks of life, the five student bodies stated that all state machineries and organs should make just decisions and act responsibly.
It then appealed to the judiciary of the state to act freely without succumbing to undue interference and pressure from political powers for the sake of larger public interest and the future of the state.