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Manipur drug smuggling case: Cop alleges pressured to favour accused, CM says no one will be spared

Written by Jimmy Leivon
| Imphal |

Updated: July 14, 2020 11:17:27 pm

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said the government will not spare anyone who is involved in drugs smuggling.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh Tuesday said the BJP government in the state will not spare anyone who is involved in the 2018 drugs smuggling case.

His statement comes a day after an officer in the Manipur Police, Th. Brinda, in an affidavit that she submitted in the High Court of Manipur, alleged that politicians, including a close acquaintance of the Chief Minister, and top police officers were involved in the case.

“Our government’s war against drugs will continue and no party involved, whether friend or relative, will be spared under the present BJP regime in the state,” said CM Biren while refraining from further comments on the allegation levelled by the police officer who is the additional SP of Narcotic Police. “The matter is sub judice, it would not be legally proper to comment,” he added.

Brinda is facing a suo motu contempt case for her “offensive” remarks on Facebook allegedly undermining and criticising the judiciary after the alleged drug kingpin Lhukhosei Zhou was granted a three-week bail by the court of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in a 2018 drug smuggling case.

Zou, who was then serving as chairman of the Autonomous District Council (ADC), Chandel, was arrested by a team of the Narcotics and Affairs of Border in 2018 from his official quarters at Lamphel reportedly with 4.6 kilograms of heroin powder and 2,80,200 numbers of “World is Yours” tablets estimated to be worth around Rs 28 crore.

After a year into the trial, the drug lord jumped bail and was pronounced a proclaimed offender. Subsequently, his bail bonds were forfeited after he disappeared in 2019 from JNIMS hospital where he was admitted for treatment of gall bladder stones, high blood pressure and Hepatitis B.

After Zou disappeared from the hospital, he surrendered to the ND&PS court nearly a year later, claiming he was abducted from the hospital by a Kuki-based underground group and taken to Myanmar.

In the affidavit, Th. Brinda said pressure was mounted on her from different quarters, including a person claiming to be a close acquaintance of CM, and top police officers in favour of the accused drug accused.

‘She said such high-profile persons were looting the state and destroying the youth, and that the government’s war on drugs was only eyewash.

In response, the Manipur Police refuted the allegations levelled by MPS Th Brinda as “baseless” and intended to malign the image of the officers she has named in her affidavit.

“The Manipur Police department has been working sincerely and relentlessly in the ongoing war against drugs,” the statement by W. Basu, the PRO of the police department, stated.

The department, right from the time of arrest of accused persons of the above mentioned case till the submission of charge sheet has been taking up all requisite legal action to ensure that all the involved accused persons are booked in accordance with the law”, said the PRO.

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