Action against poppy and cannabis cultivation featured on the government’s agenda this week with the Chief Minister N Biren announcing measures to destroy plantations from November onwards, even as the NAB SP, W Basu spelt out clearly the punishments under the NDPS law to smugglers carrying different quantities of poppy. There was a big haul of drugs by the Assam Rifles also during the week. Prior to the November 7 bye-elections the past few days saw even seasoned politicians party-hopping, while in other political developments there were clashes between supporters of candidates in the hills, and ex-MLA Abdul Nasir was banned by a particular clan for remarks he made. The HC, meanwhile, has asked the state government to look into the problems faced by transporters.
N Mangi, Nabakishore Join BJP
With bye-elections to five assembly constituencies scheduled on November 7, more desertions and defections from the Opposition Congress took centre stage.
Seasoned politician and former communist leader Ningthoujam Mangi from Kumbi Assembly who had earlier joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and then turned Indian National Congress leader, joined the BJP again on October 12.
Along with Mangi, the former Congress candidate in the last Parliamentary elections and Congress Spokesman, O Nabakishore also joined the BJP.
One time Minister of State in the Wahengbam Nipamcha ministry, A Biren of Jiribam Assembly Constituency and Sagolshem Kebisana of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa AC have also joined the BJP.
Poppy To Be Destroyed in Nov
Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren has said poppy plantations will be destroyed from November onwards.
This was disclosed by the Chief Minister in a telephonic interview to ISTV News on October 16. A combined team of Manipur Police, NAB, Forest and Para Military Forces will conduct the destruction of poppy plantations in the hilly regions of Manipur.
If owners of the plantations come out, they will be arrested and booked under the NDPS Act. If the plantations don’t have owners, the land will be confiscated, reports quoting the CM said.
It may be mentioned that pictures of poppy plantations on the north and western side of Kongba Maru hill have gone viral on social media recently.
Reports also say, the Khundrakpam Kendra Youths Organisation (KHUKYO) has urged the State Government and its agencies to destroy the plantations within a week’s time asserting there is widespread poppy plantation on Kongba Maru hill. It said the government should destroy the plantations and save the trees and environment. If the government knowingly fails to destroy the plantations, KHUKYO will take it that the government too is involved, it said stating KHUKYO will destroy the plantations to save the youth and future generations from drug trafficking and abuse, reports added.
20-year Jail For Drug Smugglers
Any person found carrying or smuggling poppy in a quantity above 50 kg could be either jailed for 20 years or have to pay a fine of Rs. 2 lakh, or both.
Under section 15 of the NDPS Act, a person found carrying or smuggling poppy up to a quantity of one kg could be either jailed for one year or pay a fine of Rs. 10,000, or both.
A person found carrying or smuggling poppy from one kilogram to 50 kilogram could be either jailed for 10 years or pay a fine of Rs. one lakh, or both.
Reports say this was asserted by the Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) Superintendent of Police, W Basu in an awareness video titled “Awareness Against Illicit Poppy/Cannabis cultivation and Penal Provision under ND and PS Act 1985”.
One Held With Rs 6.5 Cr Drugs
Reports say, a team of Assam Rifles on October 13 apprehended a drug peddler along with 1.3 lakh WY tablets worth Rs. 6.5 crore at Haolenphai village situated at the Indo-Myanmar border. Mangneo Vaiphei, 24, from Tengnoupal district was arrested with the drugs (Amphetamine tablets) during an early morning operation which was launched based on intelligence input on contraband being smuggled across the border from Myanmar.
Workers of BJP intending candidate, Ginsuanhau Zou aka GS Haupu and workers of independent candidate, Chinlunthang clashed at Tangpizawl village and M Lunmual village under 60-Singat Assembly constituency on October 14 night.
Reports said that the incident first happened at Tangpizawl village where the BJP workers were setting up flags and posters at Behiang side, under Singat sub-division and a scuffle broke out when the son of the village chief objected to the presence of BJP workers in his village. Another incident occurred at M Lunmual village where the workers of Chinlunthang attacked four vehicles of BJP workers leading to injury to five workers and inflicting damage to some vehicles.
Meanwhile, a vehicle bearing registration number MN 02G 1744 was shot multiple times at around 9 pm on Wednesday night though no casualties were reported. A case has been registered at Churachandpur Police Station. No arrest has been made till the filing of this report.
Wangmayum Boycott Nasir
The Wangmeiyum clan will boycott ex-MLA of Lilong AC, Abdul Nasir who had supported the BJP and resigned from the Congress, for making comments hurtful to the sentiments of the clan, the president of the Wangmayum Development Organisation (WDO) Wangmayum Nawaz Khan has stated.
HC Direction on Transporters
The High Court of Manipur has directed the State Government to constitute a committee within a week’s time to verify the claims made by All Manipur School Student Transporters Association (AMSSTA) regarding problems they are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reports say a single bench of the Court was hearing a writ petition filed by the AMSSTA against the State yesterday.
The petition prayed the Court to issue a writ directing respondents to provide financial assistance, interest-free loan up to Rs. 2 lakh to each of its members as the COVID-19 crisis has put them out of work for months.
National Black Day in Manipur
The total shutdown and general strike called by different insurgent groups observing October 15 as National Black Day against the merger of Manipur on this day in 1949 severely affected normal life in the state.
Contending that the Manipur Merger Agreement which came into effect from October 15, 1949 has no legal validity, many insurgent groups have been observing October 15 as National Black Day. For decades the insurgent groups have been imposing total shutdown or general strike all over the state on October 15 every year.